The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) CALABARZON entered into an agreement with the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) and Malayang Samahan ng mga Katutubo ng Antipolo City (MASAKA), Inc. for the maintenance and protection of a portion of the Upper Marikina Watershed Protected Landscape (UMRBPL), on March 28, 2022 in Tanay, Rizal.
Through the duly signed Memorandum of Agreement, GSIS has adopted fifty-six (56) ha. forestland in UMRBPL particularly in So. San Ysiro, Brgy. San Jose, Antipolo City, which is a portion of the 1,000-ha. indigenous species National Greening Program (NGP) plantation established in 2013. The adoption was in view of the need to further enhance and rehabilitate the NGP graduated sites as it suffered damages due to negligence and other unforeseen force majeures.
“Hindi lang ito adoption ng isang particular forest na napapaloob sa National Greening Program, but ‘yun pong forest na inyong ia-adopt, ire-rehabilitate, at ime-maintain ay parte ng protected area. May mga special law dito na kaiba sa ibang forestland, so mas istrikto po ang protection dito so natutuwa kami na kayo ay nag-engage dito sa programang ito na kasama sa adbokasiyang Tayo Ang Kalikasan,” DENR CALABARZON Assistant Regional Director for Special Concerns, Jose Elmer C. Bascos said.
Rizal DENR Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer (PENRO) Ramil R. Limpiada explained that the assistance to be extended by GSIS will be of big help for the continuity of the efforts to maintain and protect the established NGP plantations which was previously funded by the department for three years only.
“Pagkatapos po ng aming project, medyo napapabayaan ‘yung aming plantation at ‘yung katulad ninyo ang magiging malaking tulong sa amin para mapagpatuloy na masigurado namin na magiging successful ang mga tanim,” he said.
Per MOA, MASAKA, Inc. is the people’s organization which will primarily undertake maintenance, protection, and monitoring activities in the area. Bascos and Limpiada highlighted that the said organization, composed Indigenous Peoples residing within and nearby the NGP site, will have an alternative livelihood through the partnership.
DENR, on the other hand, will mainly provide technical assistance to GSIS and MASAKA, Inc., and monitor the performance progress of the said parties including the development of the project.
“Ito (partnership) po ay limang taon. Kagaya ng sa GSIS, limang taon silang magbibigay ng pondo para masigurado natin na within five years ay mataas na ang puno. Hindi na natin sila kailangang alagaan pa kasi they can survive on their own kasi with a span of five years plus ‘yung three years na na-establish ito, so by eighth year ay malalaki na sana ito,” Bascos said.
On the same day, DENR CALABARZON and MASAKA, Inc. also entered into separate agreements with D.M. Consunji, Inc. (DMCI), Meralco Industrial Engineering Services Corporation (MIESCOR), and Toyota Balintawak, Inc. for the maintenance and protection of 10 ha., 1 ha., and 3 ha. portions of the 250 ha. indigenous species NGP plantation established in 2012.
“Sana po ay lumaganap pa itong aming programang ito, sa pagpapatuloy ng iba pang mga kompanya at ahensya ng gobyerno, para mas makasigurado tayo na mabawas-bawasan ang pagbaha sa Maynila galing sa Rizal,” Limpiada said.###