DENR receives P1.2 M worth firefighting equipment to boost reforestation in N.Ecija

PALAYAN CITY, Nueva Ecija--- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) here received recently some P1.2 million worth of firefighting equipment from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to further boost the reforestation and protection of the 44,000-hectare Pantabangan-Carranglan watershed in Nueva Ecija under the Forestland Management Project (FMP), environment official said. 

Alfredo Collado, provincial chief of DENR in Nueva Ecija said the firefighting tools would be helpful to sustain their efforts in the protection of the plantations that have already been established under FMP inside the Pantabangan-Carranglan watershed.

“Grassfire is one of the factors that destroy our forest plantations. If we cannot protect our reforestation areas from this destructive agent, our efforts would be nothing,” he explained.

He said the delivery of firefighting equipment is very timely for their preparation in the coming summer months this March and April and will augment their present capabilities in fire suppression and control, he said.

Since 2015, the DENR has recorded a total of nine fire incidents in the Pantabangan-Carranglan watershed which burned a total of 130 hectares established plantation of FMP with a total damage cost of more than P600,000 cause by extreme weather condition in the area.

Collado said the plantations that have been razed by fire were already replanted with indigenous forest tree seedlings and are now being strictly monitored for fire occurrence. 

The DENR has also embarked on a massive information campaign to local communities in the watershed as a strategy to prevent the occurrence of grass and forest fire that may cause by human activity, he added.

Launched in 2012, FMP is a ten (10) year reforestation project that aims to rehabilitate the Pantabangan-Caranglan watershed, which is one of the biggest protected areas in Central Luzon and to strengthen the forestland management through the implementation of collaborative community-based forest management (CBFM) strategy.

Since 2012, FMP has already established more than 7,000 hectares of plantations within the Pantabangan-Carranglan watershed planted with 6.2 million indigenous forest and fruit tree seedlings.

The Pantabangan reservoir covers 8,000 hectares and supplies irrigation water to more than 80,000 agricultural lands in Nueva Ecija, Tarlac and Pampanga.

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DENR issues 1,685 land titles to CL residents

In support of Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu’s initiative to improve land administration and management in the country, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) here has distributed 1,685 land titles or patents this year benefitting more than 8,400 families and their beneficiaries in the region, environment authorities said.

Paquito Moreno, Jr., regional director of DENR in Central Luzon, reported that 189 land titles covering some 141 hectares of public lands has been distributed to marginalized farmers of Central Luzon since January of this year.

“These agricultural land titles or patents issued to farmers aimed to spur economic development in the region’s agrarian sector, following the reinforcement of the approved Bill No. 1454 or the “Agricultural Free Patent Reform Act of 2017,” he said.

In addition to that, he said 1,248 land titles covering some 29 hectares of public lands has been doled out to Central Luzon residents. He explained that the issuance of residential free patents was part of the land disposition program of the government by virtue of Republic Act No. 10023 or the Residential Free Patent Act.

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