Gov. Arthur Defensor Jr. led the synchronized planting of 1,300 native flowering trees along the national highway as part of the Iloilo International Airport Gateway greening project on August 4, 2023.
The greening project is a collaboration of the Tanum Iloilo program of the province of Iloilo and the Urban Gardening initiative of the city of Iloilo. It traverses the 19-kilometre road from the airport going to Iloilo City and spans the municipalities of Cabatuan, Santa Barbara and Pavia.
The various species of native flowering trees planted include Katmon (Dillenia philippinensis); Salingogon (Cratoxylum formosum); Balitbitan (Cynometra ramiflora): and Ylang-ylang (Cananga odorata).
Defensor’s brainchild “Tanum Iloilo” is a tree-growing activity for sustainable forest management. The governor stressed that sustaining and protecting the environment has always been a collaboration among stakeholders.
He thanked Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas, the concerned municipalities, national government agencies, and the private sector partners for their commitment to sustaining, preserving, and protecting the environment.
“We are one with Iloilo City and the rest of the Ilonggo community in the development of the province and city,” Defensor said.
“We should work together in sustaining the trees that we have planted and ensure that they grow along the highway,” the governor added.
Also present at the activity are Board Members June Mondejar, Domingo Oso, Rolando Distura, Jo Ann Germinanda, and Ramon Sullano; Santa Barbara Mayor Dennis Superficial; Cabatuan Mayor Elizalde Pueyo; Iloilo City Environment and Natural Resources Office head Neil Ravena; Provincial Government Environment and Natural Resources Head Atty. Caesar Emanuelle Buyco; Iloilo International Airport Manager Manuela Luisa Palma; Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines-Iloilo terminal supervisor Arthur Parreño; Department of Public Works and Highways VI Regional Director Sanny Boy Oropel; representatives from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Mines and Geosciences Bureau, and Bureau of Fire Protection; and members of the Iloilo City United Lions Club, bikers and riders club; among others.