DENR X awarded the Certificate of Completion and Acceptance on the 51 partnered POs/IPOs for CY 2015 and CY 2016 graduated sites under Natural Resource Management (NRM) subproject of Integrated Natural Resources Environmental Management Project (INREMP). During the turned-over ceremony, it was emphasized by DENR Officials that the management of NRM graduated sites is officially transferred to them and they are responsible in management, (maintenance & protection), and sustainability of their areas, in accordance with their submitted Sustainable Development Management Plans (SDMP). Further, the DENR will continually provide technical assistance and monitor the development and management of their areas in accordance with their SDMP and existing environmental laws. The acceptance and turnover ceremonies followed the IATF safety protocols to avoid the increase of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines.

The People’s Organizations (POs), especially those who protected and maintained their Agroforestry subprojects, are now reaping what they sowed after five years. The planted high valued crops such as Cacao, Coffee and Abaca intercrops with other cash crops are now on the harvesting stage. The partnered PO/IPOs are very fortunate in having post-harvest facilities under Livelihood Enhanced Support-1 which complement the harvested products, which generates job and stable income in the community.

The partnered PO/IPOs were not only given projects that can provide sustainable income, but also to commit in protecting the natural forests. A total of 5,481 hectares were planted with endemic trees species through Assisted Natural Regeneration (ANR) and Reforestation (Refo) approaches to increase the forest cover and serve as habitat for the plants and animals in the area. Regional Executive Director Arleigh J. Adorable reiterated that the INREMP is a loaned project by the Philippine Government to the Asian Development Bank aiming to protect the natural forest and ensure the livelihood of the upland farmers.

RED Adorable said “Dili ingon nga tungod kay gihatag na sa gobyerno para malegalize inyong (ancestral domain) claim pwede na bisag unsa na lang inyong himoon sa maong lugar tungod kay dili lang atong kaigsoonang IP ang nag salig sa maong lugar para mabuhi, uban usab ang mga tao nga nag salig sa tubig ug sa hangin nga gihatag sa atong kalasangan para mabuhi tang tanan. Kitang tanan gusto man mabuhi, dili ra man pipila ka tao.”

He also added that Bukidnon and lake Lanao river basins are located in the heart of Mindanao. And most of these mountainous areas are claim by our IP brothers and sisters as part of their ancestral land. Henceforth, the DENR should also be part in preparation of their Ancestral Domain Sustainable Development and Protection Plan (ADSDPP) to ensure the protection of natural forest following the prescribed guidelines as stated in our existing environmental policies. Jayson M. Ligtas #TayoAngKalikasan RSCIG No. 05-152-2021