Thursday, May 9, 2013



Wednesday, 08 May 2013 17:47 |

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is moving forward with the implementation of a new law seeking to reforest some 3,000 hectares throughout Cagayan de Oro City, in a bid to prevent a repeat of the devastation inflicted by typhoon “Sendong” in 2011.
DENR Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje said a six-member validation team has been formed to identify the areas to be covered by the massive reforestation program in the Misamis Oriental capital, as mandated under Republic Act (RA) No. 10452.
Paje said the validation team, composed of forestry and urban planning officers, is tasked to prioritize barangays surrounding the Cagayan de Oro River which, in 2011, failed to hold the huge amount of rainfall brought by tropical storm Sendong that eventually poured into low lying areas of the city and triggered deadly flashfloods.
Sendong left more than 1,200 people dead and destroyed P1.3 billion in agriculture and properties in Cagayan de Oro and nearby Iligan City.
Last month, President Benigno Aquino III signed RA 10452 that mandates the DENR to plant trees in 3,000 hectares of public land in Cagayan de Oro to protect its people and its environment from floods and landslides.
The reforestation program seeks to avoid a repeat of the disaster left by Sendong in Cagayan de Oro in December 2011. Another severe flooding hit the city in January 2009.
Paje reiterated that the law complements the Aquino administration’s forest policies – the National Greening Program (NGP) and the total log ban– aimed at fighting the adverse effects of climate change.
“The enactment of RA 10452 came at a most opportune time, just as the national government is making an unprecedented push to reforest the country through the NGP and the nationwide logging ban in natural and residual forests,” Paje pointed out.
NGP is the government’s flagship reforestation program that seeks to plant some 1.5 billion trees covering about 1.5 million hectares in six years ending in 2016.
Agustilo Obsioma, DENR Region 10 technical director for forestry, said the areas to be prioritized under RA 10452 are barangays along Cagayan de Oro River that were badly hit by Sendong.
The program, he said, will also include former concession areas covered by timber license agreement earlier issued by the government.
Obsioma said the ground mapping and validation of these areas, using the global positioning system (GPS) technology, would take at least two weeks.
According to the DENR, Cagayan de Oro’s forestland area covers 20,702 hectares or about 48 percent of the city’s total land area of 42,246 hectares.
The DENR Region 10 reported that at least 11 low-lying villages along Cagayan de Oro River were seriously hit by the 2011 flashfloods: Carmen, Consolacion, Balulang, Macasandig, Nazareth, Sitio Taguanao, and Barangays 6, 7, 13, 15, and 17.# 

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