DENR eyes mining companies support in bamboo and mangrove seedling production in Surigao del Sur and Dinagat

By: Herzon F. Gallego

Butuan City – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources may get the support of the mining companies in Caraga region for the seedling production of mangrove and bamboo under the Sustainable Integrated Area Development (SIAD) programs in Cantilan and Carrascal in Surigao del Sur, and Dinagat province.

DENR 13 Regional Director Nonito M. Tamayo met the elders of the indigenous people community of Carrascal, Surigao del Sur led by Datu Anilao P. Dawag at his office in Barangay Ambago, Butuan City   in which he presented the move of the DENR to use the potentials of the mining companies to fund seedling productions through the social development and management program of the companies. 

The move follows the request of the tribal leaders to participate in the national greening program with a proposed area of 877 hectares under the SIAD program.

Director Tamayo said everything is still fluid at this time although the work and financial programs of the DENR with a trimmed budget for 2017 shall be done on the last week of January. “We will finalize everything after the reprogramming workshop to be held at the Central Office” he said. 

 The DENR Regional Office 13 has proposed for P1.1 Billion allocation in the national budget but it was trimmed down by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to P800 million budget this year. 

He said the allocated target for the National Greening Program (NGP) has been likewise reduced from 21,900 hectares to 14,900 hectares as a result of the budget trimming. It also set the target of 5,000 hectares for bamboo plantation and 2,000 hectares for the mangrove this year under the NGP. 

Director Tamayo said that amid this tight budget, the DENR 13 would ask the mining companies with no problems in its operation to support the production of seedlings for mangrove, bamboo grass and indigenous tree species in these pilot areas.

 Environment Secretary Gina Lopez earlier called on large-scale miners to review their Social Development and Management Programs (SDMPs) and adopt a more effective Sustainable Integrated Area Development approach to ensure their operation brings sustainable economic and social benefits to the communities. 

The DENR top official expressed her plan for the DENR and mining companies to jointly manage the SDMP funds and use it in the area development approach to improve productivity of the area.  

SDMP is a five-year plan carried out during the life of the mine to bring about a sustained improvement in the living standards of the people in the community and neighboring towns they are operating.  It is provided for in DENR Administrative Order No. 2010-21 which is the implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 7942 or the Philippine Mining Act of 1995.

 Bamboo is considered one of the fastest growing members of the grass family known to sequester as much as 400 percent of carbon per unit area while giving off 35 percent more oxygen than other trees. Both mangroves and bamboo can stabilize embankments and prevent erosion brought about by sea level rise which is one of the identified impacts of climate change.

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