Lower right, clockwise from upper left: Hon. Alan Ines (SB Polomolok), Mr. Nick Yiannakis (Dolefil), Mr. Junbard Mahinay (MCDC), & Engr. Agustin Valencia, Jr. (MENRO), Lower right, clockwise from upper left: Hon. Alan Ines (SB Polomolok), Mr. Nick Yiannakis (Dolefil), Mr. Junbard Mahinay (MCDC)

Dole Philippines, Inc. through Mahintana Foundation, Inc, and its Ridge-to-Reef Program in collaboration with the local government unit of Polomolok and the Task Force Kalikasan at Kaligtasan (TFP2K) facilitated the online celebration/culmination of the 33rd Philippine Environment Month in Polomolok with this year’s theme, “Sama-samang Pagkilos, Sama-samang Paghilom: Ikaw, Ako, Tayo ang Kalikasan.

Dolefil through Mahintana with support from its stakeholders in the public and private sectors, established various environmental and disaster risk reduction – climate change adaptation initiatives through the Silway-Klinan River Watershed to Sarangani Bay Protected Seascape Ridge-to-Reef Program (SKRW-SBPS R2R) which aims to help reverse degradation and improve the economic and environmental status and benefits of the upland, downstream, and coastal resources of SKRW to SBPS since 2014.

Speakers and notable guests include Hon. Alan Ines, Chairperson, Sangguniang Bayan of Polomolok Committee on Environment, Engr. Agustin Valencia, Jr., Head of Office, Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (MENRO), Mr. Junbard Mahinay, Chairperson, Municipal Cooperative Development Office (MCDC), and Mr. Nicholaos “Nick” Yiannakis, Vice President & Managing Director of Dole Philippines, Inc.

The celebration also included the announcement of the contests on Miniature Bamboo Model House and TFP2K Logo-making which will conclude on August 4 and announcement of winners will be on August 12, 2021 just in time for the 44th Anniversary of Mahintana Foundation, Inc..

A highlight of the event is the launching of Civet Cat as the flagship species of the Municipality of Polomolok through General Ordinance No. 12, s. 2020 otherwise known as the “Civet Cat Flagship Species of Polomolok, South Cotabato,” mandating for the protection of Civet Cat and its habitat. In support to the Civet Cat launching, Dolefil through Mahintana launched the Agro-Biodiversity Strips Project which aims to establish baseline data of existing macroflora and macrofauna along gullies in partnership with St. Lorenzo School of Polomolok, Inc., Polomolok National High School, and Dole Philippines School. The partner schools have adopted Field 113, 116, and 117 gullies, of barangays Cannery, Upper Klinan, and Polo, Polomolok, South Cotabato, to study the area’s biodiversity and develop measures to further protect and conserve the macroflora and macrofauna species found in those gullies.

For the culmination of the Philippine Environment Month Online Celebration 2021, Ms. Liza Hora, Executive Director of Mahintana Foundation, Inc. encouraged everyone through her closing message:

..renew our commitment in making a healthy and sustainable environment by building alliances and partnerships, and raising our voices in making the environment a better place to live in.

Liza D. Hora

The celebration aligned with the Proclamation No. 237, s. 1988 which was signed by the late President Corazon C. Aquino, declaring the month of June of every year as Philippine Environment Month. This annual celebration seeks to call upon all citizens and residents of the country regardless of race or creed, to support and participate actively in the observance of the Philippine Environment Month, and to give generously their time and effort towards the protection, enhancement and development of our environment. Philippines’ celebration of World Environment Day was declared by the late President Ferdinand Marcos on June 1, 1973, by virtue of Proclamation No.1149, Series of 1973. This event is in consonance with the United Nations General Assembly’s Resolution No. 2994 dated December 15, 1972, declaring the 5th day of June every year as World Environmental Day and urging governments in the United Nations System to undertake on that day, activities reaffirming their concern for preservation and enhancement of the environment.

Arbor Day in the Philippines has been institutionalized to be observed every June 25th throughout the nation by planting trees and ornamental plants and other forms of relevant activities. The necessity to promote a healthier ecosystem for the people through the rehabilitation and re-greening of the environment was stressed in Proclamation No. 643 that amended Proclamation No. 396, s. 2003. Proclamation No. 396 enjoined the “active participation of all government agencies, including government-owned and controlled corporations, private sector, schools, civil society groups and the citizenry in tree planting activity.”

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