FOR TWO decades now, I and my friends — mostly media persons — have been planting trees and trying to save whatever is left of the environs on my farm in Llavac, which straddles the boundary of Real, Quezon and Siniloan in Laguna along the Famy-Infanta Road.
We are doing our share in making this area at Km. 19 a better, greener place now than when he found it. I would like to think that we have somehow made a dent in this positive environmental activity. The financial losses we had incurred in planting and paying the "katiwala" through the years should be enough to discourage us. We lost money in coffee, then lost some more in planting coconut. But our Gmelina, mahogany, calamansi, narra, and bamboo survived, and so perhaps the effort was worth it.
Sen. Cynthia Villar, the chair of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, has reserved her most virulent attacks against the DENR officials who are sleeping on the job, so to speak.
We would like to think that Senator Villar is genuinely passionate in fighting for the environment not just in Las Piñas and Cavite but also in Quezon, the rest of Luzon, in the Visayas and Mindanao.
Villar wanted to save and develop the Mulanay Watershed Forest Reserve (MWFR), citing the place's beauty and importance to biodiversity in the province of Quezon.
Villar recently filed Senate Bill 1691 that seeks to give a mantle of protection in the area, and renamed it as the "San Francisco Protected Landscape."
A report quoted that lady senator as saying the MWFR should be a protected area because of its rich and lush forest vegetation that serves as habitat of various wildlife, including threatened flora and fauna species. The MWFR has a total area of 29.6 hectares.
The Biodiversity Monitoring System Report identified 83 floral species and 59 fauna species in the area, three flora and two fauna species of which were classified as endangered.
The people of Atimonan town are lucky that they now have a newly built bridge — the Lavides Bridge, which was inaugurated last Friday by Quezon Gov. Angelina "Helen" Tan. Her son, Rep. Keith Micah Tan who is more popularly known as "Attorney Mike" even when he was not yet a lawyer (he passed the bar recently), was also in attendance, together with local officials of Atimonan.
The interesting fact worth mentioning here is that the funding for the Lavides Bridge was diligently worked out by Governor Dra. Helen Tan when she was a representative of the 4th District of the province.
The people of Atimonan have expressed their gratitude to the Doktora for her concern for their welfare.