Upland farmers hired to reforest Antique's mountainous barangays
San Jose, Antique (8 October) -- A total of 220 farmer-members of upland farmers' organizations in the towns of Barbaza and Libertad in northern Antique have engaged in Community Based Forest Management (CBFM) and reforestation project, a program of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) under the Comprehensive Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (CLEEP).
The CBFM and reforestation project has created an additional and immediate employment and income for the poor upland families and people organizations. Aside from making the local economy alive despite global economic recession, the project has also help conserve and protect forest resources through agro-forestry projects, reforestation, natural regeneration and enrichment planting in public and protected areas, rehabilitation and protection of forestlands, watershed, mangroves and coastal zones
For Community Based Forest Management in the town of Barbaza, the people's organization MALALUBI composed of 150 members (stands for Mablad, Langkaon, Lumbuyan, and Bigaa Upland Farmers Association Inc.) spearheaded the project of 70 hectares agro forestry, 40 hectares assisted natural regeneration and 40 hectares reforestation. The site is also considered as Dalanas Watershed Area. The trees planted were grafted mangoes, narra, abaca intercropped with vegetables like monggo, pigeon pea.
The 70 hectares of reforestation project in the town of Libertad were also contracted by farmers organization with 70 members where each member has one hectare to cultivate and grow some trees. Since it is covered by Northwest Panay Peninsula Natural Park the area were planted with pure endemic species like atino, toog, narra, guisok and laua-an.
For reforestation project, the DENR has already released P1,220,274.00 to the member-contractor of the organization, P370,540.00 for Assisted Natural Regeneration and P1,714,597.50 for Agro forestry projects. The funds were released after a certification was issued by the monitoring task force compose of the DENR and other local stakeholders that the project was 100% accomplished based on the approved work and financial plan.
Also, as part of the Upland Development Program (UDP) under CLEEP, eight extension officers were hired by DENR to oversee the implementation of the project.
Due to outstanding implementation of the said projects, the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office based in Culasi Antique (CENRO Culasi) headed by Louie Laud was adjudged Top Performer of Upland Development Program in Region 6 per Special Order 2009-317 issued by Regional Executive Director Benjamin T. Tumaliauan on August 24, 2009. (SJB/PSM/PIA) [top]