NGCP’s mangrove project turned into tourism site

Published July 19, 2021, 6:00 AM

by Myrna M. Velasco

A mangrove project of transmission firm National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) in Lanao del Norte has been turned into a tourism site, the company has touted.

In a statement to the media, NGCP also announced that the project was already officially declared by its host community in Kolambugan town as “protected area’ on the strength of a Sanggunian Bayan Resolution that was issued.

Members of the Kulasihan Fisherfolks Association (KUFA) were engaged to plant and nurture an initial of 50,000 seedlings for NGCP’s mangrove reforestation project.

Getting transformed from being a dump site previously, the company stressed that the protected mangrove now serves as “the community’s natural sea barrier and a sanctuary for commercially valuable fish and other marine life.”

To top it all, NGCP emphasized that the host community in Barangay Kulasihan had subsequently converted the area into an eco-tourism site – following the installation of boardwalk and cottages for visitors.

NGCP stated that corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative was concretized in partnership with the Lanao Aquatic Marine Fisheries Center for Community Development Inc. (LAFCCOD) and the Kulasihan Fisherfolks Association (KUFA) in that locale.

“The mangrove reforestation project is part of NGCP’s efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change,” the transmission firm said.

Way back in 2018, it narrated that members of KUFA “were engaged to plant an initial 50,000 seedlings on the waters of Panguil Bay,” and that occupied an area spanning around 7.0 hectares.

NGCP said “the project is unique from other tree planting programs as it adheres to a more holistic approach to ensure sustainability.”

On that premise, the company highlighted that “prior to the project’s commencement, LAFCCOD organized trainings to orient KUFA members on the importance of mangroves to the environment and the people.”

Complementing that initiative had been the drive on undertaking research, which NGCP asserted, was the strategy used “to determine the most suitable varieties to plant in the area.”

Community members transformed the coastal area into an eco-tourism site where visitors can observe the mangroves as they walk along the boardwalk and stay in a few cottages that were built.

NGCP expounded “our partnership with LAFCCOD and KUFA enabled us to integrate nursery establishment, planting, growing, parenting and nursing of mangroves into our strategy.”

The company specified that it has been targeting at least 80-percent survival of the mangroves, and so far, it was able to exceed that initial assessment.

The transmission firm noted that “after three years of continuous management and monitoring, the site is now home to more than 46,000 mangroves of three (3) different species.”