Press Release
October 12, 2016

Villar partners with government agencies to give livelihood projects for Baseco residents

In a bid to uplift the living conditions of hundreds of Manila residents, Sen. Cynthia A. Villar today spearheaded the distribution of fishing utensils and led environment protection activities at the Baseco compound.

Villar, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Social Justice, Welfare and Rural Development, joined the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in giving away fishing nets, boats and other utensils to Baseco residents who rely on fishing for their living.

She likewise accepted the project of DOH for the establishment of 500 comfort rooms for use of Baseco residents. The DSWD will provide cash for work to build the toilet.

"We will always find ways to make the lives of our fellow Filipinos better. I will always support any and all undertakings that will uplift the living conditions of our countrymen who find it difficult to make ends meet," Villar said.

Aside from the fishing needs, Villar and the BFAR likewise held the ceremonial stocking of fingerlings for fish cages and awarded an aquasilviculture project to boost government efforts to not only improve living conditions of fishermen but to also protect and preserve the environment.

In the same event, the Bureau of Soil and Water Management and the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission likewise turned over the Rotary Composter to help in the conversion of waste materials into composts to be used in fertilizing soils.

"We need to work double time to preserve the environment, which is deteriorating at a shockingly fast pace. We all need to work hand in hand in looking for creative methods to make sure that our environmental resources are protected," stressed Villar, who is also the chairperson of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources and Social Justice, Welfare and Rural Development.

Villar, along with partners Villar SIPAG, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and Department of Environment and Natural Resources-National Capital Region, Bureau of Soil and Water Management, Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission, Manila Bay Coordinating Office, MMDA, Cavitex and the Kabalikat sa Kaunlaran people's organization, also joined residents of Barangay 649 in Baseco in the regular mangrove tree planting and coastal clean-up activities in the area.

The clean-up activity at Gasangan, Barangay 649 in Baseco, Manila aims to rid the area of garbage, which clog waterways and contribute floodings in the community.

On the other hand, the mangrove tree planting is intended to reinforce the community's defense against flooding and storm surges, which is a consistent occurrence during the rainy season.

The Baseco compound is vulnerable to floodings and storm surges during typhoons because of its location near the sea wall of Manila Bay.

Villar, who is an environment warrior, noted studies conducted by the University of Cambridge indicating that mangroves slow down the flow of water during storm surges and reduce the damage in coastal areas.

In recognition of the importance of mangroves, Villar authored Senate Bill 142, or the National Mangrove Forest Protection and Preservation Act and Senate Bill 143 or the act establishing the coastal environment program.

The Coastal Environment Program seeks to establish reservation areas in all coastal municipalities in the country solely for the preservation, protection, reforestation, afforestation and sustainable development of mangrove forests.

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