By Elmer James Bandol
DARAGA, Albay – Majority of Daraga’s councilors might be losing interests in their jobs as another lack of quorum was experienced Tuesday during the scheduled regular session of the Sangguniang Bayan (SB) in this premier town, thus a proposed ordinance that will propagate planting of pili trees was not pushed through.
“Sayang, I prepared the draft already for comments and suggestions so that we can bring about something beneficial for Daraguenos not only for the greening of environment but for livelihood support in the future” laments councilor Joseph M. Espinas, chairman committee on ways and means.
Espinas’ ordinance proposes to adopt and implement a comprehensive program integrating pili trees in protecting and greening the environment which will eventually bring broad opportunities for economic growth as it is being considered as Bicol Flagship Commodity.
Espinas said only four councilors, including him, appeared for the regular session namely: Salvador Llamasares; Ramon Lawenko and Joey Marcellana. This is the second regular session for the month of August, while sessions for July were postponed thrice which according to observers were triggered by series of “privilege speech” made by councilor Mabel M. Tan and Espinas.
An architect by profession, Espinas suggested that funding support is necessary to prime up the implementation of the program wherein every barangay shall be required to maintain and operate Barangay Nursery Center that will produce stacks of pili seedlings readily available for interested persons.
He mentioned planting sites and locations like open spaces, parks, alongside of roads or sidewalks; subdivision projects and other places for tree planting activities to be undertaken by private and government sectors with the approval of the Municipal Agriculture Office.
Salient provisions in the proposed ordinance to protect pili trees are penalties like imposing fines, community service for human violators while confiscation, redemption and auction if animals are involved. On the other hand to ensure the propagation, incentives are provided up to seven years of tax holiday for owners of lands and lots depending on the number of pili trees planted aside from free supply of organic fertilizer.
Pili is a tropical tree belonging to genus Canarium with an approximate 600 species commonly native to maritime in Southeast Asia, Papua New Guinea and Northern Australia. It is also commercially cultivated in the Philippines for their edible nuts. Famously Bicol commodity, pili is common in the provinces of Sorsogon, Albay and Camarines Sur because of its resinous wood and resistance to strong winds. [BicolToday.com]
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