Iloilo City targets to plant 100K trees this year

ILOILO CITY – The local government here is eyeing to plant around 100,000 trees this year as part of efforts to combat climate change.

Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas said the local government will connect with various sectors for the tree-growing efforts.

“Climate change is intense. Before, we only talked about it, but now it has worsened. We have to do something about it,” he said in a media interview.

Currently, there are 10,000 species of native trees at the city nursery, while the city government will procure more “Dita” trees to replace the royal palm trees at the center isle of the Diversion Road.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources will provide on Friday the city government with 3,000 seedlings; 1,000 of which are “Freedom” tree species.

“We are now preparing at the Diversion Road. We are now removing the dead royal palms. We are just waiting for the weather conditions to normalize because our rainfall is way below normal. This is not just a tree planting but a tree growing to cool down the Diversion Road, which has the highest heat index,” General Services Office (GSO) head engineer Neil Ravena said in a separate interview on Tuesday.

Ravena said all relocation sites will be planted with fruit-bearing trees and native trees in private subdivisions. Other target areas are the floodway, roadsides, Esplanade, and beach forest on Barangay Boulevard.

They are also developing the three-hectare tree park in Barangay Lanit.

Of the 100,000 trees, he said, around 80,000 will be planted in the Sunset Boulevard area. 

Ravena said less than 15 percent of the city’s 7,834 hectares total land area is planted with trees. 

For the city to be resilient in combatting climate change, it has to have open spaces and at least 15 percent to 30 percent of its total land areas has tree covering to absorb heat.

“We will formalize these tree-growing activities this coming June once the weather condition improves,” he said. (PNA)