Perhaps one of the greatest contributions Gov. David "Jayjay" Suarez has imparted the province is Quezon's 2-in-1 - the province wide planting of 2 million mangrove propagules in one day. The program that made June 30, 2012 unforgettable has environmental benefits and influence that could well outlive the 35,000 Quezonians that participated in the planting.
Aside from contributing to the worldwide effort to combat climate change, the program also provides a means of livelihood for the people.
Of the 2,766,342 propagules, 70% or 1,940,139 survived and thrived in the 196 coastal barangays where they were planted, thanks to the care of residents and deputized individuals who partnered with the provincial government, called the LuntiangKatipunero.
These LuntiangKatipunero receive monetary incentives for continuously monitoring the mangroves' health and growth as part of the Provincial Government of Quezon's cash for work program. Most of the Katipuneros are members of the 4Ps and see the program as an empowering instrument. Instead of feeling dependent on the honorarium from the 4Ps, they can proudly say that they have an additional source of income wherein they earn by the sweat of their brows.
Even before the monumental Quezon's 2-in-1, the provincial government had already conducted a similarly impressive effort to replenish Quezon's forest cover and other greenery. Gov. Suarez launched the Plant and Grow 1 Million Trees initiative last 2010, which was concluded last 2011 - two years earlier than the projected program end of 2013, with over 200,000 trees exceeding the one million target.
The program's resounding success was thanks to the partnership between the provincial government and Quezon's Agta-Aeta community, through the late former Tribal Governor, Napoleon Buendicho.
The tribal community took part in the planting, but more importantly, they also provided the seedlings for the program - providing them with an additional source of income. They were also compensated for monitoring the planted trees.
One must practice what onepreaches - and when it comes to concern for the environment, the Provincial Government of Quezon follows this adage.
As mandated by Gov. Suarez, all offices and departments under the provincial government are required to strictly follow solid waste management guidelines. Waste segregation bins (recyclable, biodegradable, and residual) are provided for each office, and respective days for trash disposal are scheduled.
Offices are evaluated according to the accuracy of following guidelines, and are given weekly results of their trash disposal. Those that fail to be 100% compliant are reprimanded, and continued neglect is punishable.