In recent years, Iloilo City made great strides towards progress and development while constantly promoting environmental protection and sustainability. The upcoming Tree Park Network project is the latest green initiative that will truly mark the city as an environment-friendly metropolis.
Iloilo City Tree Park Network is a pet project of Mayor Jerry P. Treñas that will establish eco-forests in three locations, namely, Hinactacan Mangrove Eco-park in Lapaz, Lanit Tree Park in Jaro, and the Boulevard Tree Park in Molo.
The project aims to provide more green spaces to mitigate the effects of climate change in the booming urban center.
“The Iloilo City Government has conceptualized a mangrove and interconnected tree forest in the metropolis that will promote our tourism and shield us from the effects of climate change,” Treñas said.
Iloilo City Tree Park Network will also promote plant and animal diversity which will surely bring benefits to the present and future generations of Ilonggos.
Hinactacan Mangrove Eco-Park
Iloilo City Government will develop the 35-hectare property in Barangay Hinactacan, Lapaz into a mangrove forest. The project known as Eco-Park 2 was already started 5 years ago and now on Phase 2 of development which will cost P52-million.
When completed, the Hinactacan Mangrove Eco-Park will feature 2,451-meter Boardwalk, Visitors Center, Gazeebo, and Rest Area.
Iloilo City Tree Park
Another major greening initiative of the local government is the Iloilo City Tree Park in Barangay Lanit, Jaro. The 3-hectare property near the city’s settlement area will provide the much-needed open space for the relocatees.
Engr. Noel Hechanova, head of City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) said that they will start developing 0.5 hectare of the property.
“The tree park will have a plantation area, shed, space for wildlife, and pond. As we go along, we will continue developing other parts of the park,” said Hechanova.
Boulevard Tree Park
The City will partner with Globe/Ayala Group for the development of another tree park in Molo Boulevard, right at the mouth of Batiano River. The project includes the preservation and protection of the Sixteen Thousand Six Hundred Ninety-Five (16,695) coastal area located at Brgy. Boulevard, according to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Western Visayas.
Hechanova said that they are now propagating more endemic trees which will be planted in these parks.
Iloilo City Tree Park Network MOA Signing
On Wednesday, February 17, Iloilo City Government and DENR Region VI inked Memorandum of Agreements (MOAs) for two of these projects, the 3-hectare Boulevard Tree Park, and the Hinactacan Eco-Park.
“We are very thankful for these two MOAs because these [projects] will help maintain the environment of the city, and we are very grateful to DENR for the strong partnership in this endeavor,” said Treñas, who represented Iloilo City Government in the signing.
Regional Executive Director Francisco E. Milla, Jr., who represented DENR Region VI, said that MOA will enable the City to enter into an agreement with a lot of interested groups and financial institutions who will contribute to the protection and development of the last vegetated areas in the metropolis.
Provincial Environment and Natural Resources (PENR) Officer Salvador C. Manglinong, Jr., Community Environment and Natural Resources (CENR) Officer Vicente T. Mellizas, Jr. and City ENR Officer Noel Z. Hechanova witnessed the MOA signing.