Compostela Valley mandates ‘pocket forests’ in all its towns

DAVAO CITY—Still hurting from the devastating impact of one of the strongest typhoons to ever enter Mindanao in December 2012, the towns of Compostela Valley province began to create their own “pocket forests” to plant the seeds of a future reminder of what a forest can do to an ailing environment.

The move was to coincide with the celebration of the 11th Bulawan Festival and the 20th founding anniversary of the province, where government personnel must conduct tree-planting activities in their respective towns.

The planting site would also be the designated pocket forests area. In the capital town of Nabunturan, the designated planting site was the Provincial Tree Park at the periphery of the provincial capitol grounds in Barangay Cabidianan.

The activity was held over the weekend.


As the province adapted the theme “Comval @ 20: Growing Green for Good Governance,” the provincial government earlier issued Provincial Ordinance 46-2017, “mandating the establishment of a municipal man-made pocket forest in the eleven municipalities of the province.”

The Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office initiated the launch of the province-wide establishment of man-made pocket-forest projects and the tree-planting activities.

Gov. Jayvee Tyron L. Uy said the activity “is in line with the celebration of the planet, which is the environment.”

“It is true that our province is a pro-environment province as we celebrate this year’s Bulawan festival as one of our environmental advocacies,” Uy added. “I want this to be passed on to the next generation so that our province would be really protected from the impending challenges like climate change.”

He said the pocket forests must be replicated in every municipality of the province “so that, after 20 or 30 years from now, when we look back, these trees that we had planted now would be our legacy and contribution to the environment.”

In Tagum City, meanwhile, Mayor Allan L. Rellon announced the hosting of another international event next month, coming after it successfully hosted the sixth Asean Scout Jamboree last month.

He said the organizers of the World Youth Camp (WYC) picked the city as its venue for this year’s gathering of as many as 10,000 youth delegates.

The South Korea-based International Youth Fellowship youth organization based in and the partner of the WYC, said the participants would come from South Korea, Thailand, Cambodia, Japan, China, South Africa, parts of Europe and America.

Rellon said Yun Kyung Sik, the program director of WYC, disclosed there would be four core modules of the youth camp: organizing (where scavenger hunt falls and playing Korean games); learning Korean tradition and culture through, for example, wearing their traditional costume; focusing on mind recreation; and taking classes for academe like learning Korean language.

“The activity is filled with fun and creative activities, which would focus on cultivating the heart, enhancing thinking ability and proper communication. It is open to all aged 17 to 30 years,” Yun said.

Filipino participants would pay P1,500 for registration, and foreign youth delegates would pay $120. The deadline of the payment is on March 8 for Tagum City youth and March 12 for those outside Tagum City. The registration fee includes meals, identification card and t-shirt.

Rellon said the international youth event has slowly positioned Tagum City as a rising meetings, investment, conventions and events destination.

Last month the city hosted 30,000 scouts from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations at the Energy Park in  Barangay Apokon.


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Manuel Cayon has written about Mindanao for several national newspapers for more than two decades, the most part of it on conflict-reporting, and on the political, insurgency and civil rights front. He also scribbles on the religious and human rights issues for the Thailand-based Catholic news agency as well as he strings for several wire agencies. His stint with then TODAY newspaper started his business reporting obtaining in Mindanao, continuing to this day with BusinessMirror. He received citations and awards, including two Biotechnology awards for reporting. He was a fellow of the US International Visitors’ Program Leadership in 2007 on conflict resolution and alternative dispute resolution. He attended college at the Mindanao State University and the Ateneo de Davao University