To increase environmental awareness and hoist issues to the community that malign the natural resources of the province, the DENR- Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) Ilocos Norte recently organized an Eco Walk on Monday morning, June 18, 2012 in line to the environment month celebration.With more or less 1, ooo participants coming from the different sectors of the government, religious groups, the academe, business, and other non- government organizations, PENRO took the lead in the said event despite the threatening storm ‘Butchoy.’
The event started in San Nicolas town plaza at dawn (5 am) all the way to the major thoroughfares of Laoag City until provincial capitol grounds with roughly 6.5 kilometer stretch.
Participants were served of breakfast consisting of rice porridge, hard- boiled eggs, the native delicacy ‘patopat’ and hot coffee.
According to PENRO Planning Officer Shirley B. Hidalgo, ‘eco walk is good because there is the element of both raising environmental concern to the public and physical exercise at the same time.’
“We hope that this simple undertaking will encourage more people to do whatever they can for a better environment and livable society. In doing so, environmental risks and hazards are avoided and eventually ‘green economy’ is achieved” Hidalgo added.
The eco walk is the third of a series of the weekly activities organized by PENR Officer Juan P. de los Reyes, Jr. along with other stakeholders for the celebration of environment month this June.
Last week, PENRO in partnership with the Ilocos Norte Water District (INWD) and Provincial Veterinary Office (PVet) carried out an environmental assessment of households near and around the Paoay Lake National Park specifically in Brgys. Nangguyudan, Sungadan, and Suba, Paoay, Ilocos Norte.
Early on, PENRO has also conducted a series of clean- up drive within the stretch of Bengang Creek in Laoag City along with some Barangay officials.
According to de los Reyes, Bengang Creek is seen by the PENRO and the City Government of Laoag to augment flooding in Laoag City especially during rainy season.
It could be recalled that the two government institutions including some Barangays within the stretch of the Bengang Creek have entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the management and maintenance of the creek.
This year’s environment month theme, “Green Economy: Does it include you?” delves about the results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities.
In its simplest expression, a green economy can be thought of as one which is low carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive.
Meanwhile, Ilocos Norte Governor Imee R. Marcos lauded PENRO Ilocos Norte for the agency’s steadfast efforts in protecting the provinces’ natural wealth and resources.
In her speech after the flag raising ceremony which followed after the eco walk, Gov. Marcos addressed the participants of the various issues that affect the environment with emphasis on the importance of environmental protection and risk prevention from ecological dilemmas especially during rainy season.
“Everyday, hundreds if not thousands of people die, not mentioning the innocent lives of children which are in peril due to mismanagement and abuse to our natural resources. Natural disasters have taken its toll– taking lives and properties in the different parts of the country, in the world, everywhere else. We do not want that to happen in Ilocos Norte. Thanks to PENRO for being in keeping with their mandate to protect Ilocos Norte’s natural wealth and resources” Marcos said. (Florante A. Nicolas, DENR- PENRO- I.N.)