During the recent Independence Day celebration here, Mayor Gila Garcia addressed the flooding problem which perennially troubles low-lying Dinalupihan town and assailed illegal logging in the mountains.
“Rain is not our enemy. Our enemy is illegal logging, the absence of discipline in disposing garbage in the environment, the obstruction of canals that serve as channel of flood, the climate change that people also has created,” said Garcia.
According to a report from Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Bataan, four loggers were found illegally cutting down trees in Dinalupihan forests since January this year.
They were charged in violation of Section 7 of the Presidential Decree 705 or the Forestry Reform Code.
Garcia also condemned the prevalence of illegal drugs and cybersex which she considers as an enemy that leads to the commission of various crimes.
“This kills the future of our youth. This is the reason why there is violence against women and children. This is the reason why there many crimes,” she said.
In order to overcome the said predicaments, Dinalupihenos were advised to stick to what they are best at—bayanihan and kabayanihan (unity and heroism).
These ideals were what locals displayed during the harrowing onslaught of Southwest monsoon (Habagat) in 2013 that submerged the town and displaced thousands, the mayor recounted.
“We saw the heroism of the police, army, air force, rescue teams from other towns, barangay and municipal officials and employees, volunteers, ordinary people who let neighbors into their homes,” Garcia said.
In Dinalupihan stands the First Line of Defense monument which marks the first bastion of combined Philippine and American troops against Japanese invaders during World War II. (JMG/PIA 3, Bataan)