TANIM PARA SA PUSO. Legazpi City Mayor Geraldine Rosal gives her message during the 17th “Lakad Tanim Para sa Puso” tree planting program on Tuesday (Feb. 14, 2023). Rosal said the tree planting activity is part of the city's reforestation and environmental protection program aimed at preserving natural resources. (Photo from Noel Rosal's Facebook page)

LEGAZPI CITY – The city government here, with the participation of other government and non-government agencies, marked Valentine’s Day by planting at least 3,500 tree seedlings.

Some 1,000 people representing various government agencies and the private sector joined the 17th “Lakad Tanim Para sa Puso” tree planting activity in Barangay San Francisco.

The participants included city government employees, officers and personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Bureau Fire Protection (BFP), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and other national government agencies as well as non-government organizations and business establishments.

The city’s tree planting program started a year after Typhoon Reming (Typhoon Durian) struck Albay province on Nov. 30, 2006 and left at least 1,500 people either dead or missing in this city alone, primarily due to rampaging floodwaters from the slopes of Mayon Volcano.

Office of the City Environment and Natural Resources (OCENR) officer-in-charge, engineer Benjo Calleja, said in an interview that 2,800 planting materials were provided by his office and the City Agriculture Office (CAO), while 700 seedlings were supplied by the Energy Development Corporation (EDC).

Calleja said the seedlings planted were those of talisay, narra, pili, atis, ogob, baligang and jackfruit.

Mayor Geraldine Rosal, in her message during a short program, said the tree planting activity spearheaded by the city government was part of the reforestation and environmental protection program aimed at preserving natural resources in order to lessen the impact of global warming.

“The Lakad Tanim Para sa Puso was started in 2007 after Super Typhoon Reming hit Legazpi City and after 15 years of yearly tree planting activities, we recorded already more than 100,000 different trees planted,” she said.

Rosal said the planted trees during the previous years are now fully-grown and standing tall in different areas of the city, particularly at the foot of Mt. Mayon, the top of Lignon Hill view deck, at the sanitary landfill in Barangay Banquerohan and the golf course in Barangay Padang.

Rosal commended the participants, who have been regularly joining the city’s tree-planting activities, even as she noted that these trees would serve as the residents' protection from the impact of natural calamities like floods and landslides.

Some nine years ago, the City Legislative Council passed a resolution declaring Feb. 14 day of every year as Arbor Day of Legazpi.


Also on Valentine's Day, nearly 150 uniformed personnel from different government agencies voluntarily donated blood as part of their celebration.

Idol News FM partnered with the Bicol South Luzon Sub National Reference Laboratory-Blood Center of the Department of Health (DOH) to carry out the activity with the theme "Dugo mo Idol, Buhay Ko Year 5".

In an interview, Idol News FM area manager, Ken Cabaltera, said the activity held at the SM City Legazpi aimed to extend the company's services through blood donation to enhance their partnership with the community.

"One hundred thirty-eight uniformed personnel from the Police Regional Office in Bicol (PRO5), Bureau of Jail Management Penology (BJMP), Tactical Operations Groups (TOG5), Philippine Army, and Philippine Navy joined the activity," Cabaltera said.

Dr. Allan Locañas, the center's chief, said the blood supply in the region has stabilized because of different and continuous mobile blood donation activities.

He said those willing to donate must be at least 50 kilograms in weight, have had eight hours of sleep, physically and mentally prepared before the activity, and pass the interview during the initial assessment.

Locañas noted that five patients would benefit from every blood bag (450 ml) donated. (PNA)