DENR-Region 12 to support the Sajahatra Bangsamoro Program
The regional office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Koronadal City has forged a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Sajahatra Bangsamoro Program (SBP) for a P7 million-project in support of the implementation of the government’s National Greening Program (NGP).
A formal signing ceremony between the two parties was held on March 24, 2015 at the regional office. Signatories to the pact were DENR Region 12 Director Datu Tungko M. Saikol and Sajahatra Bangsamoro Project Management team leader Dr. Taugan S. Kikay,
The MOA, to be implemented until December 2017, calls for the greening of more than 300 hectares of forest lands in Maguindanao Province, particularly in the barangays of Buliok in Pagalungan and Sambolawan in Sultan Kudarat municipality, and in Sitio B’lungan, Brgy. Upper Sepaka in Surallah, South Cotabato. The areas will be planted with coffee, fruit trees, and forest trees.
Saikol said that the DENR shall provide funding support of P7 million for the greening activities in the identified reforestation areas. “The financial support shall cover seedling production, plantation establishment, monitoring, maintenance and protection. We will soon enter into an appropriate agreement with the on-site partner-people’s organization,” Saikol said.
Dr. Kikay said that the partnership is a long-awaited program for the Bangsamoro Communities. “NGP has made great contributions for our environment but we are still seeing idle mountains. Our objective is to implement the program of President Noynoy Aquino while pursuing the improvement of the lives of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) communities and this complements the livelihood component of the Sajahatra Bangsamoro,” he said.
Sajahatra Bangsamoro is President Benigno S. Aquino’s concrete socio-economic initiative aimed to uplift the health, education and livelihood condition of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) communities.
Meanwhile, Assistant Regional Director for Technical Services Hadja Didaw D. Piang-Brahim expressed optimism in the realization of the partnership. “The success lies in your hands. The DENR will provide financial and technical assistance. You will be the one who will implement the project,” she said, adding that the DENR will monitor the project’s accomplishment.
Likewise, the head of the SBP-Socio Economic Component Director Hadzer M. Birowa was very thankful for the partnership. “We are so glad that the DENR gives us attention. The MILF appreciates the program of the DENR, which is also meant to bridge the gap. The government is pursuing economic development in the Bangsamoro community and the peace process is not separated from this effort,” Birowa said. He also appealed to the POs to do their best to meet the targets of the National Greening Program.
Ala Provincial MILF Chairman Orly Jakiri underscored the importance of the program for the environment and to the MILF communities. He committed for the fulfillment of the program and wished for its success.
The Sajahatra Bangsamoro Program, which is under the aegis of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), will end on June 30, 2015. The partnership will remain to be carried out by the socio-economic unit of the OPAPP until December 31, 2017. ###
DENR pushes gender and development in Region 12
In an effort to sustain a stronger and empowered workforce, the regional office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Koronadal City conducted a two-day Gender and Development (GAD) Assessment/Planning Workshop on March 25-26, 2015.
The activity focused on enhancing knowledge and relevant skills, as well as providing important information and updates on GAD efforts, particularly the mainstreamed GAD activities in the region. Participants included GAD focal persons from the different field offices, and the key staff and personnel of the regional office.
The workshop explored gender-related topics such as Gender Dynamics and DENR GAD Mainstreaming discussed by Forester Helen Villame, Republic Act (RA) 9262 or the Violence Against Women and Children Act of 2004 by Police Inspector Maria Cristina R. Navarro, and RA 7877 or the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995 by Internal Audit System Focal Person Alamina R. Manalao.
In her message, DENR Assistant Regional Director for Technical Services and Regional GAD Committee Chairperson, Hadja Didaw D. Piang-Brahim emphasized that DENR-Region 12 has been serious in its efforts to advocate gender sensitivity. According to Brahim, the department adheres to the 40-60 ratio on human resources complement. The current profile under the rationalization program has 61% male and 39% female employees under salary grades 18, 22, and 24.
“We are trying to be gender sensitive as far as appointment of personnel is concerned and to support gender equality in our office,” Brahim said. She further mentioned that the regional office is committed to safeguarding the welfare of its female employees.
Regional GAD Focal Person Forester Helen Villame reported some of the mainstreamed activities in 2014, showing how the women had participated and benefitted from their productive endeavors which include among others, coastal resource management and development, social mobilization through people’s organizations, alternative livelihood program, livelihood program through contracted seedlings, and reforestation program.
This workshop was part of DENR’s celebration of March as Women’s Month, which is anchored on the theme “JUANA, ang desisyon mo ay mahalaga sa kinabukasan ng bawat isa, ikaw na!”
Women’s Month is held every year to raise awareness on women’s issues and the importance of pursuing gender and development. GAD is a development perspective that is enshrined in the Constitution and supported by various national laws and international treaties. It is concerned with the social construction of gender and the assignment of specific roles, responsibilities, and expectations on women and men. ###
DIALOGUE WITH DENR-REGION 10 STAFF
Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Undersecretary for Administration and Information Systems Atty. Ernesto Adobo, Jr. discusses with employees of DENR-Region 10 in Cagayan de Oro City updates on the various priority programs and projects of the department. Adobo was in Cagayan de Oro City to witness the turnover of management and operation of the DENR-KOICA Integrated Sustainable Wood Pellet Manufacturing and Industrial Tree Plantation Development Project from DENR-Region 10 to the Bukidnon Forest Incorporated. KOICA refers to Korea International Cooperation Agency. ###
Over 17,000 hectares in Calabarzon targeted for reforestation
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is planning to intensify efforts to rehabilitate and restore degraded forests in the Calabarzon region in 2015 through the government’s National Greening Program (NGP).
More than 17,000 hectares of forest have been targeted for rehabilitation in Region 4-A this year with almost half of the targeted areas are located in Quezon province, according to DENR Regional Director for Calabarzon Reynulfo Juan.
Juan said the region has already contributed around 63,000 hectares to the NGP since the program was implemented in 2011.
“We have set a target of 17,164 hectares for Region 4-A in 2015, so we are expecting a total of 80,164 hectares to be reforested by the end of the year under the NGP,” he said.
NGP is the Aquino administration’s flagship reforestation program that seeks to cover 1.5 million hectares nationwide with trees by 2016.
The DENR-Calabarzon targets to reforest 8,588 hectares in Quezon; 5,337 in Rizal; 3,019 in Laguna; 200 in Batangas; and 20 in Cavite.
Juan said specific site plantations have already been identified, as well as the tree species to be planted.
“These areas will be planted with more than 9 million seedlings consisting of indigenous species of forest and fruit-bearing trees, and mangrove propagules,” he said.
Juan added: “We will also plant fuel wood such as kakawate, and economically viable plants such as coffee, cacao, bamboo and rattan.”
In Quezon, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Alfredo Palencia said they have started manpower buildup to ensure that the NGP target will be met.
“We have the support of 87 extension officers who are assigned in the Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices and they will assist NGP site coordinators in establishing new plantations, maintaining and protecting those already established,” Palencia said. #
Regional Technical Director Dr. Domingo Bravo of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Regional 4A (Calabarzon) examines the stalactite formations inside the Cavinti Cave during a visit, along with representatives from the local government units of Mauban and Sampaloc, both in Quezon province, and Cavinti in Laguna, which share jurisdiction over the area. Despite statement from the tourism department of its potential as an ecotourism site, Bravo reminds the concerned LGUs of the need to complete the comprehensive management and development plan of Cavinti Cave before promoting it to ensure the preservation and protection of its natural attributes and biodiversity. LGU representatives who joined Bravo in the ocular inspection on October 17, 2014 were Cavinti Engineer Ariel de Leon, Sampaloc Councilor Marvin Torres and Mauban Councilor Andrew Andrada.##
NEW MANGROVE PLANTATION
Young mangroves line up the beach head of Sitio Tarahid, Jose Panganiban town in Catanduanes. The new plantation forms part of the 52-hectare mangrove forest established under the National Greening Program, a priority program of the government which seeks to plant 1.5 billion trees in 1.5 million hectares in various parts of the country. ###
Some 9,800 board feet of lumber of various hardwood species are being hauled to safer grounds following confiscation by an anti-illegal logging task force in Sipocot, Camarines Norte. The task force, composed of personnel of the DENR Regional Special Operations Group, Department of Justice, National Bureau of Investigation, Philippine Army, Philippine Navy, Philippine Air Force and Philippine National Police, has also filed complaint against the suspects for violation of Presidential Decree No. 705 or the Revised Forestry Code, as amended. ###
Region 11 Director Joselin Marcus E. Fragada of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) seeks the support of local chief executives of the region on the agency’s plan to set a new Guinness World Record ‘for the most trees planted simultaneously in multiple locations’ on September 26, 2014. Called ‘TreeVolution’, Fragada said the plan would involve the planting of some 4.6 million trees in 9,200 hectares all over Mindanao. The massive tree planting is also being staged to heighten public participation in the National Greening Program of the government. ###
CHARCOAL BRIQUETTING TECHNOLOGY
Riza C. Arjona of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – National Capital Region briefs 10 selected residents of Brgy. Addition Hills, Mandaluyong City on how to make charcoal briquettes during a training hosted by Brgy. Tumana Outreach Project in Marikina City recently. The DENR is promoting Charcoal Briquetting Technology as an alternative livelihood program for its being environment-friendly, as it only makes use of biomass or materials that are considered waste as raw materials like “buko” waste, thereby saving trees from being cut for charcoal making.###
DENR-Region 6 Technical Director for Ecosystems Research Dr. Alicia L. Lustica (left) is recognized by local officials of Oton, Iloilo, led by Mayor Vicente B. Flores, Jr. (2nd from left) for serving as a resource person during the 4th Oton Environmental Summit last July 4 at Anhawan Resort. Themed “Nagbabago na ang Panahonm; Panahon na para Magbabago,” the summit was called to enlighten the local residents on the impacts of climate change and how to mitigate and adapt to the changing environmental situations. ###