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DENR, LGU Sta. Teresita ink partnership on Bakong enterprise

 

mou stateresitaTo promote the growing Bakong enterprise in Sta. Teresita, Cagayan, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by the Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB), DENR Region 2 and the Local Government Unit of said town on Feb. 24, this year.

The signing of the Memorandum highlighted the celebration of the 5th National Ecotourism and 2nd Namunit Festivals.

The MOU is a venture of the DENR and the local government in promoting the establishment of biodiversity-friendly enterprise. It shall also provide livelihood and sources of income for communities within and surrounding areas of high biodiversity values.

Sta. Teresita’s Bangalao lake, a part of the Northeastern Cagayan Key Biodiversity Area, is a home of the endemic aquatic plant called Bakong which can be used to produce woven accessories and furniture. Turned into a ‘bustling industry’, this enterprise now helps as a source of income for the residents of the municipality.

The engagement of the DENR on Bakong enterprise started in 2013 through the Biodiversity Partnerships Project which initiated the conduct of a preliminary study of the water plant in determining its growth, supply and local distribution. The agency also facilitated the capacity building of People’s Organization.

BMB Director Theresa Mundita S. Lim expressed her desire for the biodiversity-friendly Bakong products to be recognized globally.She aimed at perfecting the technology of the enterprise with the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Tourism and other partner-agencies for the community to be benefitted while making sure that all activities in the industry are environment-friendly.

“We at the DENR want the community to feel and experience the benefits from the environment without them abusing or destroying it,” emphasized Director Lim.

The bureau chief also assured Mayor Lolita C. Garcia that the participants in the upcoming United Nations Convention and Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit in October and November, respectively, will be encouraged to visit her town for possible investments and market linkages.

Meanwhile, Atty. Gil A. Aromin, OIC Regional Director of DENR Region 2 also articulated the agency’s support after mentioning that the enterprise is a fulfillment of the thrusts of Secretary Gina L. Lopez on social justice and environmental integrity and “gross national happiness” among the people of Sta. Teresita.

“This is also an exemplification of the new approach in the implementation of our environmental programs which is the Sustainable Integrated Area Development,” added Atty. Aromin as he commended the efforts of the whole municipality in protecting and preserving the environment and natural resources in their area.# RCC