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DENR inks MOA with CBFM POs for development of upland areas in EV

By PURIFICACION S. DALOOS
April 20, 2011

TACLOBAN CITY  –  The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Region 8  has recently  firmed up  agreements with the Presidents of the 14 Community Based Forest Management Projects (CBFMPs) which availed of funding assistance from the comprehensive agrarian reform program (CARP) of the government.  The CBFM POs are required to undertake development of their respective farm lots into sustainably productive and income generating farm areas.

Earlier the government through the DENR released some 9.5 million pesos of agrarian reform funds for use of the 15 CBFM POs for development of a total of 379 hectares of farm lots into abaca plantation, agro forestry, forest trees seedling production, rattan plantation coconut plantation, and forest tree plantation.

In a simple signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Agreement between the POs last April 8, 2011, DENR Regional Executive Director Primitivo C. Galinato, Jr. encouraged the people’s organizations to maximize the opportunities given by the government.  He said, the government not only gives the CBFM beneficiaries lands to cultivate.  It also gives financial and technical assistance through the DENR and Agrarian Reform Program to ensure that the CBFM POs will make their lands productive and say goodbye to poverty.

Under the MOA, the DENR shall allocate and obligate agrarian reform funds for the development activities indicated in the work and financial plan of each project.  It shall provide the necessary technical assistance to all POs on project development; link with LGUs, OGAs and other CARP implementing agencies for support services like capacity building, product development and marketing assistance among other responsibilities.

The CBFM POs under the supervision of the DENR shall implement the development activities stated in their work and financial plan by providing the labor counterpart.  The POs shall also participate in the planning and decision making for the implementation of the planned activities.  The POs through resolutions shall formulate policies for the promotion of sustainable development and accountability measures.

The CBFM is a national strategy adopted by the government through Executive Order No. 263 to ensure the sustainable development of the country’s forestland resources.  The implementation of CBFM supports the management direction of the DENR, Region 8 which is, “from the ridges to the reefs” – where the upland areas specifically the forests is given full protection, it being the mother of all ecosystems.

The forest should be given primary protection because whatever happens at the forest being located at the upland areas would certainly affect the other ecosystems found in the lowlands such as the croplands, settlements in the urban and rural areas, as well as the coastal and marine ecosystems.

Currently, there are a total of 144 CBFM projects implemented in Region 8. This includes the 107 projects being implemented under the regular budget of the DENR and devolved to the local government units.  The other 37 projects are being implemented under the CARP.  RED Galinato disclosed that as much as possible the DENR sees to it that DENR services reaches all these projects being important components of development in the uplands.  “We also need the help of the respective local government units to give priority attention for the development of the devolved projects.