LGUs get nursery assistance package from DENR-ARMM PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 09 May 2014 11:31

Efforts by the local government unit of North Upi to restore the forests in its once thickly vegetated hinterlands got a much needed boost with a P3 million nursery project grant from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

North Upi Mayor Ramon Piang, and Regional Secretary Kahal Kedtag of the ARMM’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources signed on Labor Day a memorandum of agreement on the development of P3 million-worth public nursery in the municipality.

The signing of the agreement was done in the regional office of the DENR-ARMM in Cotabato City, in the presence of journalists, in keeping with the policy of transparency and accountability of Gov. Mujiv Hataman.

Ethnic Tedurays in North Upi town lauded the release of a P3-million grant from the natural resources department for a nursery project needed in reforesting the surroundings of watersheds in their tribal enclaves.

The reforestation project is part of the DENR-ARMM’s Grassroots Participatory Budgeting Program, which aims to maximize the involvement of local government units in various activities meant to protect the environment.

North Upi is one of seven Maguindanao towns that initially received funding from the DENR-ARMM for the establishment of municipal nurseries.

“My constituents are thankful to the ARMM government for this nursery development support. My people are happy about it,” Piang told reporters.

Piang said they also intend to grow rubber tree seedlings, which can also be planted in denuded lands, to restore forests and provide farmers with a good source of income.

Kedtag said they allow massive planting of rubber trees (Hevea brasiliensis) in areas where propagation is viable as a good alternative to planting forest trees.

“Farmers will protect the rubber trees certainly because of the income the trees will eventually provide them. There is high demand of processed rubber in the local and international markets,” said Kedtag,  who is a forester by profession.

North Upi, which has more than 20 barangays, has dozens of critical watersheds from where several rivers, flowing downstream along centuries-old Teduray tribal settlements, spring from.

Besides North Upi, six other Maguindanao towns received grants on Thursday for the nursery projects — Datu Montawal (P1 million), Mamasapano (P1 million), Shariff Saidona Mustapha (P1 million), Talitay (P1 million) Parang (P1.5 million) and Datu Odin Sinsuat town (P500,000).

The DENR-ARMM aims to release grants to 18 other ARMM towns this year, and to 22 others by 2015, according to Kedtag.