The Davao City government on Friday kicked off the Week-long Earth Day Celebration with an exhibit of the city government’s various environmental protection programs, seedlings distribution, and tree planting activities.

The City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) and City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) led the Earth Day Celebration with an exhibit and seedling distribution at SM City Davao. The exhibit will run until April 28, 2022.

City Planning and Development Coordinator Ivan Cortez said that the exhibit aims at encouraging the public to be part of the solution to the global environmental challenge.

“We are part of the solution. Everything that we do will always redound to something that will destroy or benefit the environment. The choice is ours and we are imploring everyone to be part of the solution by planting a tree, if they can we have it here at SM, seedlings. For those who want to plant a tree, they can start today,” Cortez said.

Cortez said that another purpose of the exhibit is to solicit suggestions from the public to further improve the services of the city for the environment.

“This exhibit today encourages people also, all the citizens of Davao to be part of the solution by also visiting our booth, and pitching in their comments and suggestions on how we can better our services, how we can better protect the environment,” he said.

As Earth Day tackles environmental protection, Cortez said that part of the exhibit are maps that depict the present hazards within the city for the people’s guidance in case they want to pursue any business or any activity in the city.

“The maps will show you the hazard risk area. We want the people to be aware of the current hazards already mapped in our Zoning Ordinance like the landslide-prone areas, areas that are prone to flooding, areas that are prone to storm surge, and areas that are within the faultline,” he said.

Cortez highlighted the city government’s initiatives toward saving the environment.

“In 2013, we passed the Zoning Ordinance wherein we included a unique feature only found in Davao City which is the declaration of Shrine Hills as an Urban Ecological Enhancement Sub-Zone. This will start providing something of a lung to the urban center because we cannot allow the entire area to be a concrete jungle, we also need the real jungle to be within us as we continue to enjoy living in Davao City,” Cortez said.

Cortez added that the Sangguniang Panlungsod also approved the Single-Use Plastic Ordinance, and also a separate ordinance that requires all parks, sidewalks, and pavements to use the permeable pavement to allow water to seep into the ground.

“We have a unique feature also in our Zoning Ordinance – the 10 percent greening space. In other LGUs, the saleable area is 70 percent but for Davao City, the saleable area is only 60 percent simply because we require every subdivision project and every commercial institutional project to have ten percent of their total area devoted to greening,” Cortez said. This also includes the Rainwater Catchment Ordinance as among the city’s pro-environment ordinances.

CENRO Environmental Management Specialist Melagros Nakahara, who was also present during the exhibit, said that CENRO provided 1,000 seedlings of Almon, Narra, Sagimsim, Nato, and other hardwood tree seedlings throughout the week and shall distribute also 100 composts.

CENRO also conducted a tree planting activity at the Eden Watershed. CIO