Development of watersheds in Caraga stepped up

Published August 9, 2019, 6:54 PM

by Rica Arevalo

By Mike Crismundo

PROSPERIDAD, Agusan del Sur – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has mobilized its forest officers and technical men to develop the eight watershed areas covering 1.2 million hectares in Northeastern Mindanao or Caraga region.

The giant bamboo plantation of the Philsaga Mining Corporation (PMC) visited on Thursday by the officials and technical men of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Bayugan lll, Rosario town, Agusan del Sur province. (MIKE CRISMUNDO / MANILA BULLETIN)
The giant bamboo plantation of the Philsaga Mining Corporation (PMC) visited on Thursday by the officials and technical men of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Bayugan lll, Rosario town, Agusan del Sur province. (MIKE CRISMUNDO / MANILA BULLETIN)

The mobilization was in line with the commitment of President Duterte for the people to have access to clean water over the next three years.

The DENR regional office has five provincial and 13 community environment and natural resources officers in Caraga’s five provinces and six cities.

“Our President (Duterte) has committed to provide access and steady supply of clean water to the people over the next three years hence, it is logical and necessary to develop the watershed areas since it also provide waters needed for irrigation and household consumption”, DENR Regional Executive Director (RED) Felix S. Alicer said Friday.

Alicer cited a directive of DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu for the department’s field officials and personnel to give priority to reforestation and the improvement and protection of watersheds.

“We have to extend all our efforts in this call of the President to secure enough supply of water for a growing population and to have them full access to clean water,” Cimatu said recently.

Alicer said he was informed by the top management of Philsaga Mining Corporation (PMC) which operates in Rosario town, Agusan del Sur, that they have conceptualized a project to develop a watershed within its area of mining operation to be planted with more giant bamboo grass (Banboza gigantocloa sp.) and other indigenous trees.

Philsaga said it had already planted 10,000 giant bamboos in its 8-hectare bamboo plantation.

Giant bamboo grass is planted on hillsides to prevent soil erosion. “Our continuing bamboo planting program is our support to the climate change mitigation program,” Philsaga President Raul C. Villanueva and Resident Manager Engr. Ferdinand A. Cortes told a technical team from the DENR who visited the company’s tree plantation area and state-of-the-art nurseries on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Agusan del Sur PENR Officer Jose Flavio Concha said the rehabilitation of degraded forests in the province continues in spite of the abrupt stop of seedling plantation development because of budget cuts.

“Our tree planting is continuing in idle and vacant lands, especially in watershed areas, as we also wait the available funds next year,” Concha said Thursday.

On the other hand, Bunawan CENR Officer Jerome H. Albia reported that since 2011 a total of 8,763,392 seedlings of different kinds of trees have been planted with an average survival rate to close 90 percent.

“Those seedlings planted by the different people’s organization are maintaining the trees being part of the contract agreement they entered with the DENR” Albia said.

Bayugan City CENR Officer Norman Asugan said 32,209 hectares in production forest lands have been developed over the past eight years.

 
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