“Kailangan Lahat Tayo”: 40,000 Mangrove Trees Planted in Bulacan to Restore a Critical Carbon Sink, Flood Protection System & Livelihood Source

img_87693 March 2017, Barangay Tibaguin, Bulacan.  40,000 indigenous Philippine mangrove tree species of “bakauang babae” (scientific name, Rhizophora mucronate)* were planted along the coastal shores of Barangay (Tag., village) Tibaguin, in the Municipality of Hagonoy, in Bulacan Province on 3 March 2017.

“Kailangan lahat tayo,” (Tag., “it requires all of us to be involved”), observed one local fisherman from Tibaguin, because (translated) “we cannot tackle rising floodwaters ourselves. Even if we plant along our entire shoreline, when the rest of Manila Bay floods, so do we. And now some private investor is planning an airport over our fisheries and livelihood source, claiming that we are not producing enough fish for export, so might as well demolish our fish farms. What of our families then?”

The 111 Volunteers

Jamaica C. Pascual Victoriano Cruz Aiza Santos
Pricila Morales Michael Aniag Fred Espiritu
Ranquilino Perez Jr. Rogelio Suico Anafe Caraig
Ma. Donna Magbintang Erwin Aduna Jonard Bernardino
Edilberta Baluyut Segundo Sebastian Aldrin Santiago
Leonardo Aquino Romy Ramoso Ma. Teresita Dela Cruz
Vic Perdro Constantino Aguinaldo Rogelio Montano
Ricardo Loreto Vincent Giatmaitan Alrence Aquino
Rafael Feliciano Jr. Francisco Marcelino Angelo Aquino
Jerry Sararo Antonio Aguinaldo Gerardo Feliciano
Elias Desoto Roberto Perez Roberto Angeles
Conrado Bautista Jr. Glenda Galvez Rufino Perez
Vicente Manansala Gilbert Galvez Geminiano Bautista
Joseph Dela Cruz Angelito Dela Cruz Marlon Aguinaldo
Hernie Santos Ildefonso Dela Cruz Stterrnand Sebastian
Joseph Lorenzo Fabian Nilo Santos Rafael Reyes
Pedro Dela Cruz Ronaldo Gubiy Gerbacio Flores
Joendeff Dela Cruz Mark Aguinaldo Almira Ibuto
Vicente Payongayong Jowe Javier Cesar Aranas
Corazon Adriano Reynaldo Reyes Ariel Atienza
Ardee Aguinaldo Nelson Atienza Anna Marie Loreto
Totoy Revilla Marlon Reyes Marilyn Atienza
Roel Gardnia Nomer Cuartero Grecella Bautista
Emelito Santos Diana Penales Rhonnelia Sacdalan
Joseph Santos Anne-Marie Mananquil Bakker Lourdes Caparas
Albert Aquino Raquel Lopez Annalyn Cabuhat
Roberto Reyes Rodolfo Santos Roucero Reyes
Michael Geervow Virgillio Amioy Irma Lerma Matic
Ron Bernandino Orlando Bautista Cessha Pauline Gabriel
Timothy joseph Ameda Crisanto Dorado Millord Cruz
Edgar Adriano Arlyn Mercado Benjamin Reyes
Julio Teodoro Marlon Felipe Romerico Reyes
Ariston Teodoro Paulo Pornea Arnold Miguel
Aurelio Jimenez Maria Victoria Dela Cruz Melchor Gonzales
Ireneo Pascual Bernadette Reyes Michelle Bitara
Jessie Sunga Robina Atienza Ramon Salamat
Roneo Yambao Carmen Bautista Mayor Amboy Manlapaz

This mangrove rehabilitation & restoration project was led by Hagonoy Mayor Raulito (“Amboy”) Manlapaz, Jr. with technical support from the Philippine Bureau of Fisheries & Aquatic  Resources (BFAR), facilitation by the Department of Environment & Natural Resources (DENR)‘s Municipal Environment & Natural Resources Officer (MENRO) Stephen Palayaw, and 111 volunteers from the “Bantay Dagat” (Tag., Sea Guards) and “Bantay Bayan” (Tag., City Guards), Hagonoy Fish Farmers Producers Cooperative led by Vic Cruz, and Local Government Units.

For Hagonoy, the primary sources of income of (75% of) the coastal residents is  capture “fishing”, “fish processing”, “fish vending”, “fish culture and “fish working”.  

Source: https://mangroveecology.com/mangrove-summit/northwestern-luzon/bulacan/


Bulacan Community Profile

The province of Bulacan has one city and four municipalities located along the coast, which together comprise 15 coastal barangays: Pamarawan, Masile, Caliligawan, Babatnin and Narayan for Malolos City; barangays Puga, Tibaguin, San Roque and San Pascual for the municipality of Hagonoy; barangays Masukol and Sta. Cruz for the municipality of Paombong; barangays Taliptip and San Nicolas for the municipality of Bulakan; and barangays Binuangan and Salambao for the municipality of Obando. Based on the total land area of these barangays, the province’s coastal area measures about 12,189.8 ha with a shoreline length of 43 km (GIS-PPDO). Out of a total population of 2,924,433 in the province, 43,005 live in the coastal barangays (2010).

Increase in population has been identifed as one of the social problems encountered by coastal residents. Based on the historical population derived from the actual census conducted in 1995–2010, there is a significant increase from 10% in 2000, 23% in 2007 and 26% in 2010.

The poverty incidence of Bulacan also increased from 6.9% in 2009 to 7.3% in 2012. !ese indicate an increase in population of the vulnerable or marginalized sector, which most farmers and fisherfolk are part of.

Another social problem is the limited livelihood opportunity of coastal residents. Most of them are geographically confined within their areas where available livelihood solely comes from fishing related work.

Consequently, they also have limited access to education—with primary education being the highest level—and to basic health services (e.g. vaccination) at barangay health centers. Fishing/passenger boats are the only means of transportation available to reach the mainland for their children to attend school or bring patients to the hospital.

The decline of mangrove stands in the province are due to the:

  1. conversion of mangrove areas to fishponds,
  2. reclamation for resettlement of coastal communities,
  3. cutting of mangroves for firewood and housing materials, and
  4. flooding, soil erosion and sedimentation.

The decline of mangroves exposes the community to the dangers of sea level rise, tidal flooding, storm surge and increasing siltation – which also decreases the habitat for feeding and breeding grounds of many fishes, which affects its survival and reproduction. Thus, fisherfolks experience a decrease in fish catch.

Importance of Mangroves

The province identified four main ecological and socioeconomic signifances of mangroves in the area:

  1. First, it is a source of food;
  2. Second, it provides a good addition as a site for eco-tourism;
  3. Third, it provides ecological services for the community such as shoreline protection and erosion control; and
  4. Lastly, it is a source of livelihood for the coastal residents. People earn income from products sourced from mangroves such as nipa hut materials, fish, prawns, crabs, shell fish, clams and nipa vinegar and syrup.

There is a need to to raise environmental awareness of the community, to obtain their support in coastal resource protection and management and empower them. The awareness of the stakeholders on the value of mangroves, the effects of its loss on the coastal environment, and on the emerging environmental issues will enhance their appreciation on the need for management interventions for mangroves. Other steps that need to be undertaken are the promotion, establishment and management of mangrove nurseries, and mangrove-friendly aquaculture (MFA) or aquasilvicutlure.

Source: https://repository.seafdec.org.ph/handle/10862/475


Appropriate mangrove resource management is invaluable. “Lessons learned from various studies of Philippine mangroves include:

  1. institutional networking and linkaging is necessary to ensure continuous technical support and empowerment of mangrove managers;
  2. pro-active and organized community participation is a significant factor in the sustainability of mangrove management programs;
  3. ecotourism holds a promising role in enhancing mangrove areas;
  4. and the use of strategic and scientifically-based means to reach optimal mangrove growth.

These lessons lead to new directions from obtaining baseline data for comprehensive and effective mangrove management to its increasing value in disaster risk reduction and carbon sequestration potentials”.

Source: https://mangroveecology.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/ting-et-al-2015.pdf.

About the Bakauang Babae – Mangrove Species


Illustration & photo by  www.stuartxchange.org/Bakauan-babae-html.

*Bakauan-babae is a tree of the mangrove swamps growing up to 12 meters high, with numerous prop roots. Distribution can be found in mangrove swamps throughout the Philippines, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam; also in Australia, New Guinea, Madagascar.

“Mangroves exist in the inter-tidal zone of sheltered tropical and subtropical coasts, and in Southeast Asia are home to 42 tree and shrub species found nowhere else (Giesen et al. 2006).  These ‘true mangrove species’ and other associate species are adapted to marine and brackish conditions, and are capable of sequestering and storing large amounts of atmospheric carbon dioxide.”

Photo Journal, 3 March 2017 Mangrove Planting 36,000 Propagules & 400 Mature Seedlings

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Field Guide to Philippine Mangroves

Check out the ultimate Field Guide to Philippine Mangroves, which illustrates our mangrove species sorted by genera. Closeup photographs of distinctive features (leaves, flowers, fruits, bark, roots) are provided for visual comparison to facilitate identification of species. Produced by J. H. Primavera, Ph. D.

“Awareness of mangrove importance, particularly for coastal protection, has grown among the general public over the past several years. In turn, this has led to numerous planting initiatives by various groups. However, most of these programs did not yield positive results mainly due to lack of science- guided protocols, particularly on what species to grow under certain conditions.

primaveraThis field guide is an attempt towards broader awareness and appreciation of the common mangroves found in the Philippines. It is based on the original material, “Field Guide to Philippine Mangroves,” developed with support from the Pew Fellows Program in Marine Conservation and SEAFDEC Aquaculture Department, and published by the Zoological Society of London-Philippines.

Seeing the vitality of this field guide, Philippine Tropical Forest Conservation Foundation, Inc. (PTFCF) partnered with ZSL-Philippines and Foundation for Communication Initiatives (FOCI) in repackaging this field guide for distribution to groups and individuals keen on mangrove rehabilitation. Together with the “Community-based Mangrove Rehabilitation Training Manual” and posters, this hopes to increase prospects of success for mangrove rehabilitation efforts, particularly in areas hit by Super Typhoon Yolanda, the most destructive typhoon ever recorded in modern history.

Source: http://www.ptfcf.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/field-guide-to-phil.-mangroves.pdf 

For More Information

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