The Civil Service Commission declared September as the month of appreciation for public employees and the service they give to the Filipino people. This year’s theme is, “Sigaw ng Lingkod Bayani: Malasakit Para sa Taumbayan, Kapwa Kawani, at Kalikasan”. While public institutions were permitted to conduct various social activities for their personnel, Davao del Norte State College decided to start the celebration by cultivating urgency for environmental rehabilitation.
In the morning of September 28, 2016, students, faculty and staff planted 200 young mangroves in the swamp of a forest rehabilitation area in J.P. Laurel, Panabo City. The participants were guided by Panabo City’s Environmental and Natural Resources Office representative, Mr. Mario Paña who reiterated, “Mangroves are natural protective barriers that save coastal communities against flood and harsh waves. The city has welcomed both the public and private sectors to join the cause of rehabilitating this area and extend the mangrove habitat.”
The local government has partnered with researchers, including DNSC, on how to transform shoreline areas into an ecotourism park that aims to protect the natural resources and wildlife of the city. Also, the area is part of the Community Based Aquasilviculture and Mangrove Conservation Project of the college that is funded by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR). Last year, more than one hundred thousand full-grown mangroves were tallied in the continuous monitoring and propagating efforts of the people behind the project.
After taking pictures in the site, the environmental awareness drive continued as the team walked through the newly built Lovers’ Lane. It wasn’t just made for lovers but for environmental advocates who wanted to see nature at its greenest. The lane’s first phase was completed which featured less than a kilometer walk in the middle of a mangrove sanctuary. The second phase is still under construction which lengthens the lane up to the edge of the coast.
The activity ended in the Davao del Norte State College Administration Building where the faculty and staff enjoyed breakfast together. At eight o’clock in the morning, employees returned to their offices and the college was back to its usual business. However, the Human Resource Management Office, headed by Leonida Piorac (officer-in-charge) and assisted by Lyra Mae Ordonio (incoming HR officer), prepared more activities that would highlight the compassion of public servants to the masses, their colleagues and the environment. (end, CNL)