In line with the celebration of Women’s Month, the MIMAROPA Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) led a Balayong tree-planting activity at the Palawan Quicksilver Mines Inc. (PQMI) project site in Barangay Sta. Lourdes on Thursday.
Engr. Alvin Requimin, MGB regional mineral land survey chief and project manager of the PQMI Rehabilitation Program, said they consider this as a “women empowerment activity” by inviting Gender and Development (GAD) representatives of the province.
Requimin said the event is in connection with the city government’s proposal to plant endemic Balayong trees around the project site.
He added another tree-planting is set June this year.
“The next na gagawin natin is to talk to all stakeholders, to all residents in Sta. Lourdes na mag-commit sila for tree-planting even their families and mga anak kung sakali. Kung ilan ‘yong member ng family ‘yun ‘yong magtatanim and mag-aalaga na rin. Hopefully kung sino man ‘yong maganda ‘yong maibibigay, kumbaga tuluy-tuloy ‘yong mga tanim natin, may reward po sila,” he said.
The activity was attended by local residents and local government officials of Sta Lourdes, representatives from the city government and Gender and Development (GAD) Palawan, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), CENRO, Philippine National Police (PNP), and mining corporations in the province.
Earlier, the abandoned mercury mine site of the PQMI that operated from 1954 to 1976 is currently under the MGB’s second stage rehabilitation process.
Felizardo Cayatoc, City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) chief, said they acknowledge the role of women in environmental protection.
“Alam natin na sila ang may kakayahan na magbuntis, manganak, at sila rin ang natutuunang mangalaga ng mga anak natin. Siyempre kasama ‘yong ka-partner niya, pero isang pag-kilala sa mga naging role ng mga kababaihan hindi lang sa pamilya kundi doon sa ating kalikasan. Dito ngayon bilang pagtatanim nitong Balayong o Palawan Cherry, way din ito para sa pagpapaganda dito sa paikot ng ating pit lake,” said Cayatoc.
He said 1,000 Balayong trees were prepared for this activity.
However, those that will not be planted will be reserved for the next tree-planting activity at the project site.
“Itong pit-lake na ‘to ay dapat nating pagtulungan. Alam natin maraming issues na nauugnay dito, pero sa pagtutulungan ng lahat ng mga agencies pati mga civil at mga people’s organization ay maiayos natin ito,” said Cayatoc.