Philippines to boost mangrove restoration after typhoon attack

Philippines to boost mangrove restoration after typhoon attack

MANILA, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- The Philippine government will allot some 347 million pesos (7.94 million U.S. dollars) for the restoration of mangrove and natural beach forests in coastal areas battered by Typhoon Haiyan, locally known as Yolanda, a senior government official said Wednesday.

Environment Secretary Ramon Paje said the massive coastal rehabilitation program will cover worst-hit areas in central Philippines, particularly the province of Leyte and its capital Tacloban City.

"Tacloban is a major concern given its being a major population center, but the undertaking will cover practically the entire eastern seaboard of Eastern Visayas," he said.

He said the main objective is to restore the region's degraded coastal forests to make its coastlines less vulnerable to extreme weather events.

The government has acknowledged that most of those 5,500 people who perished from the Nov. 8 typhoon were due to drowning because of strong storm surges.

Paje said that mangroves are natural barriers against tsunamis, storm surge and other wave action, and therefore, should not be destroyed

Under the plan, some 19 million seedlings and propagules from mangrove trees and beach forest species will be planted over 1,900 hectares of coastline under the National Greening Program.