The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has planted nearly 50,000 bamboo culms (stems) in a span of just four days in the Bicol region, demonstrating just how serious it is in its various ongoing river rehabilitation efforts.
A statement from the agency Wednesday, Feb. 17, said that a total of 49,509 bamboo culms have been planted in an area covering an accumulated 173 hectares between February 9 and 12.
The bamboo culms were planted on the river banks of Albay (8,500 culms), Camarines Sur (30,000), Camarines Norte (10,000), and Catanduanes (1,009), DENR said.
The river bank stabilization activity was a program of the regional Task Force Build Back Better (TF BBB) led by the DENR, in partnership with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu chairs TF BBB.
The agency said that a total of 151,381 bamboo seedlings are being prepared at the DENR Bicol field offices in time for the planting season this May. The bamboos are used to address stream bank erosion and instability at the river banks.
Some 815 beneficiaries of DSWD’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program were tapped for the planting activity. The beneficiaries received family food packs through DSWD’s food-for-work program on the last day of the planting.
The Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of the Interior and Local Government, National Irrigation Administration, National Housing Authority, Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine National Police, Philippine Army, and the local government units concerned also participated in the bamboo planting.
Cimatu attributed these initiatives to the “whole-of-society approach” pursuant to Executive Order (EO) No. 120 signed by President Duterte on November 18, 2020.
“Beyond restoring these areas to their pre-disaster state, our marching order from President Duterte is to enable affected families and communities to spring back stronger and better than ever,” Cimatu said.
President Duterte signed EO 120 creating the TF BBB to ensure post-disaster rehabilitation and recovery efforts of typhoon-hit areas.