Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya—Two mining firms here recently gave their support to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’(DENR) reforestation program.
DENR Regional Executive Director Gwendolyn Bambalan led the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement with the FCF MInerals Corporation and OceanaGold Philippines, Inc.(OGPI) in support of the agency’s National Greening Program.
FCF Minerals was represented by Leopoldo Castro Jr. while OGPI was represented by Jayson Magdaong in the MOA signing, witnessed by Nueva Vizcaya PENR officer Edgar Martin, Quirino PENR officer Mariam Frances Malana and regional NGP coordinator Edmund Malupeng.
Bambalan said the three-year tree replacement program which will start in 2021 was part of the mining companies’ compliance with the terms and conditions of the tree cutting permit issued by the DENR. Ben Moses Ebreo
Based on these regulations, the permittee or mining companies are required to replace each tree cut affected by their mining operations with 100 seedlings of indigenous species.
Bambalan earlier recommended to the mining companies an area development scheme in support of the NGP rather than just producing, buying and donating seedlings to yield better impact.
“We engage a people’s organization or a community to develop and maintain the plantation not only to promote partnership, but also to create employment opportunities especially this time of pandemic. “Eventually, it will be the local communities who will manage the plantation,” she said.
Under the MOA, FCF and OGPI shall allocate funds in the amount of P6.4 million and P2.9 million, respectively to cover the replacement scheme from site assessment, seedling production, plantation establishment, and three-year maintenance and protection activities.
The mining companies may also transfer the full amount covering the cost of the entire duration of the project implementation or transfer the funds on annual budget requirement basis based on the approved work and financial plan.
A total 192 hectares of plantations will be funded by the FCF and 90 hectares by the OGPI within the provinces of Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino.
The sites which include NGP graduated areas with low survival rate and other suitable areas will be planted with timber and fruit trees.
The DENR is tasked to conduct survey, mapping and planning, and engage beneficiaries within the project sites for the actual implementation of program activities following the family approach in NGP.
It shall provide technical assistance to the identified partners in seedling production, plantation establishment and protection and maintenance of the planted areas.