To develop the dying almaciga trees in ancestral lands and tribal areas around the City, the Center for Sustainability (CS) conducted its second year of Almaciga Reforestation Inauguration in Batak Tribe Center on June 13 in San Rafael, Puerto Princesa City.
With the theme “Saving the Almaciga Tree”, the Center for Sustainability (CS) aims to empower the indigenous people around the city and to help propagate the reforestation of almaciga trees, also called bagtik, in the tribal lands of Puerto Princesa.
The CS gave 10,863 almaciga seedlings for the tribe from grants extended by the Philippine Tropical Forest Conservation Foundation Inc, and in collaboration with the CENRO, DENR, NATRIPAL AND PCSDS.
Robert Arangorin stated that the almaciga tree fruit and ‘dagta’ serves as their livelihood.
He added that almaciga propagation and reforestation will also provide livelihood and the restoration of the forest’s ecological balance.
“May dugo rin akong Tagbanua, kaya gusto kong tulungan ang mga IP na ma-develop nila ‘yung livelihood nila,” Arangorin stated.
He added that through Western Philippine University’s research extension, they are able to apply new and better methods of planting almaciga trees.
Rica Gupo, a Batak Tribe and mentor at the Mothertank School of Batak Tribe Center, said that the project has been a significant factor in sustaining their livelihood and care for the environment.
“Dati, hinahayaan lang namin na tumanda ‘yung almaciga at susugatan, pero ngayon alam na namin kung paano ‘to papalaguin,” Gupo said.
She added that as a mother, she wanted to advocate caring for the almacigas, maybe not for them but as a legacy for the next generation of their tribe.
“Bilang nanay gusto ko na may ikabubuhay ‘yung mga anak ko pagtanda nila kaya ngayon pa lang maganda na ‘yung ituro ko sa kanila paano ‘yung tamang pagpapalaki ng bagtik,” she said.