BAUKO, Mountain Province – Mayor Abraham B. Akilit urged his constituents and residents in neighboring towns of western Mountain Province to be vigilant on the occurrence of forest fires that will ravage the improving state of the environment in their respective places so that the pristine beauty of the province’s forested areas will remain.
Akilt, who also attended the 114th founding anniversary and 10th Ubaya festival of the nearby town of Besao, underscored that the watersheds are the sources of potable water for the communities, food to eat on the tables of each families, sources of sustainable livelihood and provides the beauty of the environment that attracts in influx of foreign and domestic visitors, thus, the need for every citizen to protect the forests from whatever man-made destruction that will compromise their conditions in the future.
“We should not be the one to destroy our beautiful environment which is our major natural asset in sustaining our sources of livelihood while providing the needed pristine beauty that serves as a tourism driver not only for our respective municipalities but also for the province and the \Cordillera as a whole,” Mayor Akilit stressed.
The local chief executive appealed to residents to refraim from being involved in activities that will become the sources of forest fires, especially during the present dry months, so as not to affect the improving state of the province’s forested areas because it will allow the seedlings that were planted by responsible citizens to grow and contribute in improving the state of the environment.
Akilit is a staunch advocate of environmental preservation and protection even during his term as regional director of the Cordillera office of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA-CAR) and even as a private citizen before being elected into public office.
He said it pains him to witness the destruction done by forest fires in the forested areas because it negates the efforts done by the concerned government agencies, the local governments and the people themselves to make the environment beautiful for the benefit of the present and future generations.
Akilit demanded that people who were able to participate in reforestation efforts should also help in policing their fellow residents to make sure that there will be no untoward incidents of forest fires that will happen during the dry months to make sure that the planted seedlings and shrubs will grow and serve their purpose not only as beautification materials but also as sustainable sources of livelihood for the people in the future.
Akilit was able to spearhead a massive reforestation campaign during his term as the local chief executive of this upland town having mobilized the various sectors of the 22 barangays for the sustainable preservation and protection of the town’s environment.
Bauko is considered the headwaters of four major river systems such as the Agno, Chico, Magat and Abra rivers providing abundant supply of water for power generation, irrigation, agricultural, industrial and domestic purposes for the thousands of people living in the lowland communities.