SUSTAINABLE FOREST MANAGEMENT. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Cagayan Valley has recently turned over P35.9 million worth agroforestry support facilities to the local government units (LGUs) and people’s organizations (POs) in Nueva Vizcaya. 
 
The three infrastructure projects were constructed under the Forestland Management Project (FMP), a watershed rehabilitation project implemented by the DENR under a loan agreement between the Philippine government and the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
 
The Carolotan Access Road with Reinforced Concrete Deck Girder Bridge and Reinforced Concrete Box Culvert built in Barangay Carolotan in Dupax del Sur was turned over by DENR Regional Executive Director Gwendolyn C. Bambalan to Mayor Ruben Basconcillo Jr., and James Bantasan, chairperson of Carolotan Agroforest Association.
 
In Barangay Palabotan, the 1.52 kilometer Lazar-Kalinga Access Road was turned over by Director Bambalan to Mayor Basconcillo and Palabotan Agroforest Development Association, Inc. chairperson Erlindo Pudiquet.
 
Mayor Elizabeth Balasya of Kayapa town represented by Rey Castillo, and Loreto Ballagan of the Mapayao-Binalian Forestland Management, Inc. accepted the completed Binalian Pathway project.
 
The memorandum of agreement for the operation and maintenance of the facilities was signed by the DENR, LGUs and POs.
 
Director Bambalan in her message said the agroforestry support facilities aim to ensure the survival of the reforestation, agroforestry, fuelwood and coffee plantations established by the PO beneficiaries. These will also improve the socio-economic condition of upland communities as their produce will be easily transported from the farm to the market, and will facilitate the delivery of basic necessities and social services.
 
The regional environment chief appealed for the proper management of the plantations and the infrastructure facilities. “Sana seryosohin natin ang implementation ng ating projects para sa pagpapanumbalik sa ating kagubatan at maiwasan ang epekto ng mga kalamidad,” she added stating the recent flooding in Cagayan and Isabela and the fatal landslides in Nueva Vizcaya.
 
In response, the local chief executives thanked the DENR for the projects that will benefit their constituents. They assured the full support of the local government for the proper operation and maintenance of the facilities.
 
According to Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Edgar T. Martin, a total of 29 infrastructure projects were completed and turned over to the LGUs and partner POs in the municipalities of Ambaguio, Dupax del Norte, Dupax del Sur, Kayapa and Kasibu. Six more ASF will be constructed in 2021.
 
The turn over ceremonies and ribbon cutting were also attended by Nestor Velasco and Jerry Tan who represented Gov. Carlos Padilla, Vice Mayor Neil Magaway of Dupax del Sur, CENR officers Constante Espiritu and Giovannie Magat, barangay officials and PO members.#