Riders from 48 clubs in Mindoro Oriental staged the first ‘Community Pan-tree’ activity last May 2, 2021, in a bid to restore forest cover in the province. The tree-planting program was held at Mindoro State University in Victoria.
The activity was held simultaneously with the observance of Motorcycle Riders’ Day, which was declared via Executive Order 19 Series of 2020 signed by Governor Humerlito ‘Bonz’ Dolor. The Day’s objective is to promote not only camaraderie and brotherhood among motorcyclists, but to instill discipline and road safety awareness among their ranks. Local government officials also want to boost the tourism industry in the province with this annual undertaking.
A motorcycle enthusiast himself, Dolor led officials from the motorbike clubs in planting more than 200 seedlings of Mahogany, Ipil, and Narra on a parcel of land at the university campus.
“Ito yun panahon para makatulong ang mga rider sa kalikasan,” says Michael William ‘Mico’ Uy, president of the Oriental Mindoro Motorcycle Riders Club and Oriental Mindoro Riders Federation.
There were many more riders who wanted to join the activity, but the local officials opted to limit the number of participants in compliance with social-distancing policies. The other riders were instead given seedlings so they could plant in other areas. All the participants were given Riders’ Day decals, and exciting prizes were also raffled off.
The activity was supported by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources, and the Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group Mimaropa office.
The local government of Mindoro Oriental has been pushing for the reforestation program in a bid to restore the environment and prevent flooding in the province. Do you think this activity in Mindoro will set a trend for other rider groups in far-flung areas?