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Zamboanga: Dalipe convenes ‘TF Siembrada’ to intensify reforestation efforts

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Consistent with his State of the City Address (SOCA) declaration on intensified reforestation efforts, Mayor John Dalipe on Tuesday, Feb. 7, convened the newly created “Task Force Siembrada” in his ardent move to find solutions to the city’s perennial problem of flooding every time Zamboanga is inundated with heavy downpour.

During the meeting, the City Planning and Development Coordinator’s Office and the City Environment and Natural Resources Office presented the state of the city’s forest covers and mangroves that showed a certain level [16%] of degradation due to various factors, notably human activities, urban development, and population growth.

The city’s flood susceptibility map from the Mines and Geo-sciences Bureau (MGB-DENR) showed that 35,800 households with close to 200,000 individuals or 1/5th of the city’s population are susceptible to flood.

In his recent address to the local legislature, Dalipe lamented that 18,017 families with 47,338 individuals in 50 barangays were severely affected and displaced by three major flood events in three months— during Typhoon Paeng in October 2022, around Christmas time and Jan. 11, this year.

“There is no question that Filipinos are resilient, Zamboangueños most especially,” he quipped, adding that a major factor in the recent massive floods is the city’s lack of forest cover.

And, as part of his administration’s balanced rural and urban development of the city, while maintaining its agricultural and fisheries industries, Dalipe vowed to carry out the creation of what he termed as “Green Growth Corridor,” which will ensure that the development of residential and commercial areas are dependent on the location of less ecologically sensitive sites.

“We will not compromise the future of our children to meet our present needs. This move will temper the effects of population growth and urban expansion, the effects of climate change in our ecologically diverse city,” the young mayor assured.

He further promised to continue with the upland and mangrove reforestation, and the cleaning and “desiltation” of rivers as some of the solutions to the problem of flooding.

“Intensifica kita el programa de siembra para alevia el baha y asegura kita el mga pono que siembra kita vivi, krisi y apropriado na diatom lugar. We will make sure our tree planting activities are not mere ceremonial events, but a critical component in our efforts of reforestation, environmental progress, and flood prevention,” Mayor Dalipe said. (Vic Larato, photo courtesy of CMO | Ed Bisquera)

(Source: City Government of Zamboanga Facebook page)

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