CABANATUAN CITY — Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) turned-over the more than seven-kilometer Dilaing Bato-Calo Mambeja access road connecting the villages of R.A. Padilla and Bunga in Carranglan, Nueva Ecija.
The infrastructure seeks to ease the transport of farm produce from agroforestry plantations to the market, and enhance the government’s reforestation programs.
“This P58-million worth access road was funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) as an agroforestry support facility in the 10-year Forestland Management Project (FMP) in the over 44,000-hectare Pantabangan-Carranglan Watershed (PCW), which will also speed up economic recovery and ease the delivery of vaccines and other healthcare essentials to some 1,400 families,” DENR Regional Executive Director Paquito Moreno Jr. said.
“Our upland farmers will have an easier time transporting their products like cashews and other agroforest crops to the market. It will also boost local trade and productivity and help in the prevention of forest fires,” he added.
A projection study revealed that the access road will boost productivity of site development and other agroforestry activities in the area to over P389 million in the next 10 years.
Transportation cost and travel time of goods and services will be reduced significantly and can minimize the losses of local farmers while children and families will have better access to healthcare, education, and other government services.
“We can also better protect our reforestation site since the access road can help us respond immediately during any forest or grass fire incident including tracking of timber poachers,” he furthered.
The Dilaing Bato- Calo Mambeja access road is the fifth agroforestry support facility implemented by JICA for the last two years in the PCW.
Others include the 60-meter bridge in Sitio Pamalayan, barangay Conversion in Pantabangan town.
Also, projects in Carranglan town namely the eight-kilometer Calaocan Irrigation Pipeline System and 55-meter Calaocan hanging bridge in Burgos village, and the 80-meter Barat reinforced concrete bridge in Sitio Kanlungan.
FMP is a 10-year reforestation project launched in 2012 with the goal of rehabilitating PCW and strengthening forestland management through the implementation of collaborative community-based forest management strategy.
It integrates conservation and development-oriented activities with participation and capacity-building of local communities to rehabilitate degraded forestlands in three critical river basins, including Upper Magat and Cagayan in Region 2, Upper Pampanga in Region 3, and Jalaur in Iloilo.