Two access roads and a hanging bridge have been turned over by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 2 to two municipal local government units (LGUs) in Nueva Vizcaya to ease transport of farm products and improve living conditions in the upland communities.
Constructed under the Forestland Management Project (FMP), the three agroforestry support facilities worth more than 107 million pesos were turned over to Kayapa and Bambang LGUs that will promote the maintenance of over 2,600 hectares agroforestry and reforestation sites developed by people’s organizations (POs) in said towns.
FMP is a 10-year watershed rehabilitation project implemented by the DENR and funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency under a loan agreement.
Among the turned-over infrastructure facilities were the 4.1 kilometers access road in Sitio Lacong – Centro Babadi, 56 meters hanging bridge in Brgy. Pingkian both in Kayapa town; and the 7.4 km access road in Brgy. Pallas in Bambang.
The turnover ceremonies were headed by DENR Regional Executive Director Gwendolyn Bambalan who also led the signing of the tripartite memorandum of agreement for the maintenance of the FMP site development areas in the recipient towns.
“These facilities will help upland farmers gain higher income because these will ease the transport of their products to the marketplace,” said Director Bambalan.
The DENR Region 2 chief also appealed that instead of expanding their vegetable farms in the upland, the farmers should apply appropriate upland farming technology which will result to higher yield.
“Our forest areas should be conserved because trees play an important role in preventing soil erosion and flood especially to rivers in the lowland,” she added.
Nueva Vizcaya’s lone district Congresswoman Luisa Loren Cuaresma thanked the DENR for extending help to the upland farmers since ‘they greatly contribute to national food security’.
The two LGUs committed to allocate funds to sustain the said support facilities.
Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Edgar Martin said there are seven more facilities being constructed in Kayapa.
Also present in the ceremonies were Bambang Mayor Flaviano Balgos Jr., Kayapa Mayor Elizabeth Balacia, Board Members Delmer Tidang, Elma Lejao and Edgardo Balgos who represented Gov. Carlos Padilla, barangay officials, PO members, and some DENR key officials.#