BALANGA, Bataan — Past World War II, folk in this province are moving anew for yet another defense of historic Bataan. This time, they are shielding their vulnerable coastal province from storm surges that had caused severe devastation in Tacloban City during Supertyphoon Yolanda last year.
Students of Bataan Peninsula State University (BPSU) joined Mon-day a bayanihan-themed run in Balanga City to raise funds for mangrove planting.
Some 1,200 students under BPSU’s National Service Training Program (NSTP) joined hundreds more of employees and athletes in the five-kilometer Bayanihan fun run themed “Survive. Sow. Save. Strive. Strengthen” which started at Balanga City plaza towards the BPSU campus.
“Proceeds of the run will be used to buy mangrove propagules to be planted in the storm surge-prone barangays of Sta. Elena and Camachile in Orion town, and Barangay Sapa in Samal town,” said Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Bataan chief Raul Mamac.
Mamac noted that “mangroves along the shoreline serve as sturdy and natural barrier against waves that bang into coastal communities of ocean-bound Bataan.”
“We won’t let poverty, typhoons or the culture of neglect to ruin what a beautiful country we have, and in your case, a beautiful province,” said Jose Mari Oquiñena, director general of Philippine Information Agency, who keynoted the Bayanihan para sa Kalikasan forum in BPSU.
This, even as Mamac stressed the “need to protect Bataan.” “More projects involving youth participation are needed more than ever to raise awareness on the importance of volunteering oneself for critical protection of environment,” he said.