Thursday, June 6, 2013

Beauty queen vows to take up environment advocacy

By Dino Balabo

 MALOLOS CITY—A Bulakenya beauty queen vowed to promote environmental awareness in view of the calamities visited upon the province s in the last two years.

This, as the provincial government of Bulacan feted Bernadette Mae Aguirre yesterday during the launch of the month-long environmental awareness celebrations.

Aguirre was crowned 2013 Miss Earth Philippines-Eco-tourism last month in Manila.  She is the also the holder of the 2012 Lakambini ng Bulacan title.

A resident of Sta. Maria, one of the towns which suffered from the onslaught of typhoon Ondoy in 2009, Aguirre said she will push for environmental protection.

She said she will specifically work for the continued rehabilitation of the Marilao-Meycauayan-Obando River System (MMORS) which was included in the list of 30 dirtiest places on Earth in 2007.

“Environment degradation stems from lack of of understanding and awareness, that’s why I will devote this year for environmental campaign,” she said.

Aguirre also said that she will work hand in hand with the provincial government to campaign for reforestation projects in eastern Bulacan, specifically in the Angat  Watershed which was declared as one of the most critical watersheds in the country in 2004.

A graduate of the University of Santo Tomas, Aguirre described the Angat Watershed as the source of Metro Manila’s drinking water.

She said that unless it is protected and reforested, Metro Manila water supply cannot be secured.

With regards to coastal resources development, Aguirre said she will coordinate with the Bulacan Environment and Natural Resources Office (BENRO) for projects they can work for promotions.

Based on data from the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics, Bulacan annual fish production dropped by over 10,000 meteric towns from 2001 to 2011.

Agriculture officials in the province blamed pollution in rivers caused by lack of solid waste management programs in some towns.

However, fisherfolk and small fishpond operators blame excessive use of aqua feeds by fishpond operators with 50 hectares and above of fishponds.