CITY OF SANTIAGO: Two access roads and a suspension bridge were handed over by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 2 to two municipal units of local government (LGU) in Nueva Vizcaya to facilitate the transport of agricultural products and improve living conditions in the upland communities.
Built as part of the Forestland Management Project (FMP), the three agroforestry support facilities worth over 107 million pesos were handed over to the towns of Kayapa and Bambang. The new access roads aim to promote the maintenance of more than 2,600 hectares of agroforestry and reforestation sites developed by popular organizations (POs) in the two cities.
The 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 infrastructure put back into service were the 4.1-kilometer access road to Sitio Lacong-Centro Babadi, the 56-meter suspension bridge to Barangay Pingkian, both in the town of Kayapa; and the 7.4 km access road from Barangay Pallas to Bambang.
The succession ceremonies were led by DENR Regional Executive Director Gwendolyn Bambalan, who also led the signing of a tripartite memorandum of understanding for the maintenance of the FMP site development areas in beneficiary cities.
“These facilities will help upland farmers to increase their income as it will facilitate the transport of their produce to market,” Bambalan said.
The head of DENR region 2 also asked that instead of expanding their vegetable farms in the highlands, farmers should apply appropriate high mountain farming technology which will result in higher yield.
“Our forest areas must be conserved because trees play an important role in preventing soil erosion and flooding, especially in lowland rivers,” she added.
The only representative of the Nueva Vizcaya district, Luisa Loren Cuaresma, thanked DENR for extending its assistance to upland farmers, as they greatly contribute to national food security.
Both LGUs have committed to allocate funds to support the facilities.
Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Edgar Martin said seven more facilities are also under construction in Kayapa.