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PIA Press Release

DENR orients staff on P2-B nationwide upland dev't program

by MCalungsod-Locsin

General Santos City (2 February) -- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), based in this city, is gearing for the implementation of a P2 billion PGMA nationwide forestation program.

The DENR Upland Development Program (DENR UDP) will be implemented beginning this year in a combined 4,245 hectares of forestlands in Region XII with a funding of more than P144 million. The Program aims to accelerate the restoration of the environmental service functions of vital watersheds and protected areas thus mitigating the effect of climate change.

In line with this, some 40 implementers from the DENR XII regional and field offices were oriented about the Program on January 21, 2009 at the DENR Regional Office.

In his opening message, OIC-Regional Technical Director for Forestry Muripaga T. Umpar announced that the DENR UDP is the 2009 flagship project of the DENR under the leadership of Secretary Jose "Lito" Atienza. Likewise, Director Umpar rallied the participants to work as a team in order to deliver the goods to the upland areas. "Kalimutan muna natin ang ating sariling kapakanan. (Let us first forget our personal welfare.) Let us think of our upland communities who are in dire need of our help, Director Umpar said.

DENR XII's Forest Resources Development Division Chief Mamutur D. Cariga said that the people's organizations or POs will be the main players of the Program. "They (POs) will be paid for work done in different phases of implementation during a three-year period. It is required that the POs must be registered with the Cooperative Development Agency, Securities and Exchange Commission or other appropriate government offices," said Forester Cariga.

Moreover, Forester Cariga said that the DENR UDP will be implemented from "ridge to reef", meaning from the top of the mountain down to our coastal areas.

Newly installed OIC-Regional Executive Director Raquil-Ali M. Lucman bared that the Program is in keeping with the Department's 2009 priority thrusts of poverty reduction and hunger mitigation. "Through the DENR UDP, we hope to create incomes for upland poor, thereby mitigating hunger among such highly vulnerable populations," Director Lucman stressed.

"The Program will be implemented in upland areas of the provinces identified as priority under the Hunger Mitigation Program of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo," Director Lucman added. (DENR XII/PIA SarGen) [top]

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