MANILA -- Calls are mounting to save the Sierra Madre mountains from deforestation a day after typhoon Karding lashed parts of central and southern Luzon on Sunday and left at least six people dead.
As the country marked Save Sierra Madre Day on Monday, netizens took to social media to call on government as well as every Filipino to take steps to protect the Philippines' longest mountain range.
In 2012, then President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino proclaimed every Sept. 26th of the year as Save Sierra Madre Day.
Some enjoined the public to sign a petition against the Kaliwa Dam project, which some groups say will affect the lives of people residing near the Kaliwa River.
Environmental advocacy groups encouraged the public to take part in efforts to save the Sierra Madre from deforestation.
"The Climate Change Commission (CCC) encourages everyone to participate in activities geared toward the conservation of the Sierra Madre, which include reforestation activities and campaigning against unsustainable projects that threaten the mountain rage," Philippine Parks and Biodiversity said in a Facebook post.
The World Wildlife Fund-Philippines, for its part, reminded Filipinos that the Sierra Madre plays a very important role by acting as a natural shield against typhoons and floods coming from the Pacific Ocean.
ABS-CBN resident meteorologist Ariel Rojas said that the Sierra Madre helped lessen the destructive power of Karding.
"When the storm passed the Sierra Madre in the Nueva Ecija area, parang lumiit yung blob - kung san naka-concentrate yung malakas na pag-ulan (the blob--the area where strong rains are concentrated--seemed to have shrunk)," he said in a TeleRadyo interview.
The Sierra Madre was a trending topic on Twitter over the weekend, with many social media users pointing out how the mountain range had again served as a natural shield against typhoons and floods.