September 24, 2021 Friday
MANILA, 25 September 2021 – In celebration of “Save Sierra Madre Day” tomorrow, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) highlights the importance of preserving our forests, as well as protecting, managing, and regenerating our country's natural resources.
September 26th of every year is observed as Save Sierra Madre Day by virtue of Proclamation No. 413 to remind Filipinos of the dangers which a lack of concern and action for the Sierra Madre Mountains may bring about. It commemorates the day in 2009 when Tropical Storm Ondoy brought heavy rains and massive flooding in Metro Manila and surrounding provinces, causing widespread deaths and destruction. The disaster was attributed to the continued deforestation, degradation, and destruction of the Sierra Madre Mountains.
The Sierra Madre plays an important role in meeting Metro Manila’s major water supply demands, as well as those of the immediate surrounding provinces of Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Nueva Ecija, Quirino, Aurora, Quezon, Rizal, Laguna, and Bulacan.
More importantly, the mountain range has long acted as one of Luzon’s most reliable buffer areas against typhoons that originate from the Pacific Ocean, reducing the wind speeds of potentially destructive storms.
However, Sierra Madre is becoming increasingly vulnerable as extractive activities like illegal logging, illegal mining, road construction, and land conversion to agricultural use and population areas continue to diminish its forests and ecosystems.
With this, the CCC urges everyone to be more conscious of our connection and relationship with nature, which includes learning how to consume only what we need, caring for the forests and trees, and opposing projects that might destruct the Sierra Madre.
The CCC encourages all sectors of the society to participate in activities geared toward the conservation of the Sierra Madre Mountains, which include tree planting activities, beautification and cleanliness of our forests and parks, garbage segregation and efficient waste management, and conserving water and energy.