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PIA Press Release

Bicol plants 1,440 has. of uplands with trees

by AS Araya

Legazpi City (26 June) -- Some 1,440 hectares of uplands within the Bicol River Basin area are now planted with trees.

This was gleaned from a report (as of June 12, 2009) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Bicol regional office, a copy of which was sent to Presidential Assistant Tomasito B. Monzon, Project Manager of the Bicol River Basin and Watershed Management Project (BRBWMP) based in Naga City.

The upland reforestation projects were carried out in 13 different areas in Camarines Sur, including barangays Tible, San Rafael Norte, Buenasuerte, Sooc and Napolidan in Lupi town; Panoytayan, Cabadisan and Samay in Ragay; Tigman in Sipocot; Del Socorro in Minalabac; Tanag and Bagamelon in Libmanan; Pamplona; and Minalabac.

Seven of these projects will be implemented within a year, while the rest will be carried out for a period of three years.

According to the same report, the 1,440 hectares planted comprised 90 percent of the target 1,608 hectares.

The upland reforestation project has a total allocation amounting to P37,679,730.90. Some P20,401,886.80 or 54 percent of the total fund has already been utilized.

DENR handles the watershed management and development component (WMD) of the BRBWMP. Other components, like irrigation modernization, flood and hazard mitigation and institutional development, are being implemented by the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), and Project Management Office.

Under the WMD component, there are also two components, such as plantation and infrastructure. Under plantation, there are six activities, namely, upland reforestation, agro-forestry, bamboo riverbank stabilization, mangrove rehabilitation, assisted natural regeneration (ANR), and protection and maintenance. Under infrastructure, the activities are gabion check dams, SWIS or (small water impounding system), and eco-blocks construction.

For agro-forestry areas, 186 hectares have already been planted with forest trees, fruit bearing trees and other agricultural crops, the DENR report said.

It entails 77 percent of the target area of 243 hectares has already been accomplished. The project cost some P3,288,200.00 wherein 74 percent of the total fund, amounting to P2,429,691.00, were already utilized.

The five agro-forestry projects are located in barangays Tible in Sipocot; San Ramon in Pamplona; Del Socorro in Minalabac; Sigamot in Libmanan; and San Ramon in Pamplona, all in Camarines Sur.

Other activities included riverbank stabilization covering a 32 kilometer stretch in Lupi, Sipocot and Libmanan towns, mangrove forest rehabilitation covering 45 hectares in barangays Biong, Pandan and Barcelonita in Cabusao.

DENR Bicol also assisted natural regeneration activities within the 50 hectares area in barangay Alana, Lupi; protection and maintenance of the 250 hectares of forests in Napolidan, Lupi; and Tanag, Libmanan.

Under infrastructure component, the report states the following accomplishments:

1. Setting up of gabion check dams with a total of 382 cubic meters in Pag-oring, Libmanan; Bulawan Sr., Kabutagan and Tapi in Lupi; Lubigan in Sipocot; Del Socorro, Minalabac; and another area in Minalabac.

2. Construction of seven (7) units of SWIS in Tible, Sipocot; San Ramon, Pamplona; Bagong Sikat, Lupi; Pag-oring, Libmanan; Irayang Sulong, Minalabac; and two other areas in San Ramon, Pamplona.

3. Construction of 500 linear meters of ecoblocks in Barangays San Felipe, Santiago and Del Carmen in Minalabac, Camarines Sur.

All activities under the watershed component of the BRBWMP are intended to restore, sustain and enhance the productive potentials of Alienable and Disposable (A&D) and timber lands, and to enhance the protection functions of the watershed of the Bicol River Basin towards the ultimate goal of reducing poverty. (DENR V/PIA) [top]

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