This was the statement of Executive Director Cynthia R. Cruz before the employees of Institute for Labor Studies (ILS) got down and dirty to plant 2,000 mangrove shoots at Kalawangan River, Iba, Zambales.
As part of the Green Our DOLE program, which complements the National Greening Program (NGP) of the national government, the Institute is the first DOLE agency to take part on the mangrove reforestation, according to Zambales Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) manager Mr. Alex N. Navarro
Mr. Navarro explained that mangrove reforestation plays a vital role in the lives of the people of Zambales, particularly of Barangay Palanginan, as mangroves help maintain biodiversity in Kalawangan River, a source of livelihood for many community folk.
Mr. Navarro said that mangrove trees have the ability to prevent soil erosion and storm surges, especially in rivers and littoral areas. Mangrove areas also serve as breeding ground for aquatic animals, which the locals eventually harvest to generate income.
“Here we can see the inter-dependency of environment protection and employment generation. Our proactive role on raising consciousness in caring for the environment always redounds to employment and livelihood sustainability,” said OIC-Deputy Director Mary Grace Riguer during her discussion with the officials of Zambales PENRO.
Under the NGP, all government employees are required to plant a minimum of ten seedlings per year in pre-determined areas. DENR estimates that by 2016, 1.5 Million hectares would have been covered under the program, with 1.5 billion seedlings planted.
The ILS as the policy research and advocacy arm of the Department of Labor and Employment commits itself to contribute to the NGP. It has done pioneer research on green jobs and green business. ILS Researches on green jobs are available at their website at www.ils.dole.gov.ph.
(with reporting from Mr. Marc Peñaredondo, Labor & Employment Officer I, Institute for Labor Studies)
(For more information on this press release please contact Ms. Linartes M. Viloria, Chief, Advocacy & Publications Division, Institute for Labor Studies, Telephone Nos.: 5273490 / 5273447)
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