DENR to regreen and establish Corregidor Island as bird sanctuary and ecotourism spot


DENR to regreen and establish Corregidor Island as bird sanctuary and ecotourism spot

“Not just to be remembered as ‘battlefield’ and national shrine noted for the galantry of the Filipino soldier, Corregidor will be an eco-tourism destination for birdwatching. Yes, Corregidor Island will become a bird sanctuary” thus declared Department of Environment and Natural Resources Region 4A CALABARZON Regional Executive Director Reynulfo Juan in anticipation of forging an agreement with the the Corregidor Foundation, Inc., the Department of Agriculture and the City of Cavite this weekend

Juan pursued the idea after a visit to Corregidor last year with Forestry experts to assess the forest situation and plan out forest rehabilitation efforts on the island as part of President Pnoy’s National Greening Program.

Corregidor is part of the jurisdiction of Cavite City, province of Cavite in the CALABARZON Region.

President PNoy’s National Greening Program (NGP) aims to plant and nurture 1.5 Billion trees in 1.5 Billion hectares all over the country from its inception in 2011 until 2016.

Forester Manuel Escasura, then chief of the Forest Resources Development Division and concurrent Regional Coordinator of the NGP during the visit with the DENR regional chief to Corregidor confirmed having assessed the areas to be rehabilitated in the island. He said some 200 hectares of originally forested area will be replanted with the forest and fruit bearing trees which are endemic to the island, with a mix of other forest tree species and fruit bearing trees.

“We will plant fruit bearing trees which will serve as food for the birds. The RED (Juan), during his previous visit to the island last year, saw the need of introducing fruit and forest tree species that are more attractive to birds.” Forester Escasura revealed.

“This is in consonance with the NGP objective of promoting biological diversity,” he added.


Forester Escasura has been designated early this year, 2013, as OIC Regional Technical Director for Ecosystems Research and Development Service.

Juan said the team of forestry experts from the DENR Region 4A CALABARZON region will be conducting a more comprehensive surveying, mapping and planning for the forest rehabilitation and tree growing activity in the island. He said initial discussions have been done with concerned agencies including the tourism business establishments in the area.

To formalize the joint-efforts, Juan said the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement will be done fittingly, right on the island of Corregidor, this Sunday, April 7, 1015 at 1045 Hours, a day before the eve of Day of Valor or ‘Araw ng Kagitingan.’

He said Corregidor Foundation, Inc. (CFI) will be represented by Executive Director Lt. Col. Artemio G. Matibag. CFI, a non-stock, non-profit private corporation organized by the Department of Tourism (DOT) and Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA) is charged with managing the tourism activities in the island.
The Department of Agriculture will be represented by Region 4A Director Vilma Dimaculangan and Cavite City government by City Mayor Romeo G. Ramos.

50 forest and fruit tree seedlings such as bignay (Antidesma bunius), lipote (Syzigium curanii), kalumpit (Terminalia edulis), aratiles (Muntingia calabura) and duhat (Syzigium cumini) as part of the ceremonial activity will be planted by the signatories, their staff and sons and daughters of World War II veterans and war heroes, in a pre-selected area within the island.

“Initially, 50 trees will be planted in the selected area. The plantation area is preselected in consideration of its proximity to the tourism establishments and which will be tasked to take care and nurture the planted trees,” said Forester William Palaypayon, DENR CALABARZON Regional Technical Director for Forest Management Service.

“The 50 newly planted seedlings will need extra care,” said Forester Palaypayon.

“It is not yet the time to plant, not within the searing hot summer time. We are still in the stage of ‘production and hardening’ of seedlings and ‘plantation site preparation.’ Actual planting will commence at the onset of rain in June and July,” he explained.

Palaypayon, who was formerly Regional Technical Director for Ecosystems Research and Development Service, will also be lecturing participants of the ceremonial tree planting on the proper way to plant a tree on site.