PIA News Service - Friday, Oct. 1, 2010

DENR widens reforestation of Mt. Mayapay

BUTUAN CITY — The Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) based in Nasipit Agusan del Norte headed by CENRO Jaime Acebu has took the initiative on Thursday to organize a three-day workshop of all stakeholders to strengthen the support of the people and widen the reforestation program of the government at Mount Mayapay in this city.

DENR-Caraga through the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) Nasipit, Agusan del Norte headed by CENRO Jaime Acebu initiating the three-day workshop with participants from the different sectors of the community to draw up a blueprint for the rehabilitation and development of the 18,523-hectare Mt. Mayapay, held recently at the EcoPark in Barangay Bonbon, Butuan City. The DENR through the efforts of Agusan del Norte Representative Jose S. Aquino II, the people and other government agencies has planted trees mostly of “African Tulip” species on 158 hectares slopes of the mountain.  

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 “We thought it appropriate to come up with a development plan of Mt. Mayapay which will be crafted by all concerned sectors to sustain the momentum in reforestation efforts that started three years ago.” CENRO Acebu told local newsmen before the start of the workshop held at the enchanted “Ecological Forest Park” in Barangay Bonbon, in Butuan City.

The activity is participated in by the leaders of the Indigenous People, barangay chairpersons, officials of the Community-Based Forest Management program, businessmen, the National Economic Development Authority-Mt.Mayapay Rehabilitation Task Force, the Philippine Army 4th Infantry Division, 3rd Infantry Brigade based at Camp Bancasi, the DENR and the LGU officers of the Buenavista, Agusan del Norte and Butuan City. 

The workshop is expected to produce a development blueprint for Mt. Mayapay which would harness and improve the ecological settings in the area and hopefully attract local and foreign tourists in the area over the next five years. 

The DENR has already laid the groundwork in the reforestation program of Mt. Mayapay which was made possible through the support of Butuan City Representative Jose “Joeboy” Aquino, the NEDA and the City Government of Butuan. 

Since reforestation started on May 21, 2008 at a ceremony graced upon by then House Speaker Prospero Nograles, there are now about 158 hectares of slopes that have been planted at Mt. Mayapay mostly of the flower-bearing African Tulips, and other tree species of Philippine mahogany, and narra also known as the national tree. There are also undocumented accounts from some foraging residents near the mountain peak that they have seen deers in three occasions.

According to CENRO Acebu, a team from the CENRO Nasipit headed by Forester Greg V. Bayotas was sent to verify this report. He said these are “encouraging signs that biodiversity is coming back in the once-denuded slopes of Mt. Mayapay.”

“Part of the development plan is to sustain the tree planting program in the area by all sectors of the society including the students, LGUs, private, non-government and government sectors even if the leaders who first initiated the rehabilitation of Mt. Mayapay are gone.” CENRO Acebu said.

A prominent participant of the workshop, the former Butuan City Mayor Daisy Plaza said she is proud to be part of the people who first initiated the rehabilitation of Mt. Mayapay. 

The lady Mayor who was still reeling from an upset over her close political contender in the last national and local elections said she was “willing to participate actively in the program. “In any good endeavor for the benefit of reviving the lost glory of Mt. Mayapay, my utmost support is always be there” Mrs. Plaza said. She also hinted that plans are underway in which her family will introduce and manage a “cable-ride” system in the area where the people can enjoy and appreciate the nature from the top. (Eric F. Gallego, DENR-13 Public Affairs Office/PIA-Caraga)

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Mindanao local chief executives encouraged to join LG Code Anniversary Celebration

BUTUAN CITY - With the theme “Strengthening Local Autonomy Through Transparent Accountable Governance and Peacebuilding,” the Department of the Interior and Local Government encourages all local chief executives of Mindanao to attend a one-day activity in celebration of the Local Government Code of 1991 on October 8, 2010 at the Grand Caprice Hotel, Cagayan de Oro City.

The activity will highlight innovations and initiatives in various areas of local governance. It serves as a celebration of the 20 years of local autonomy in the Philippines pursuant to the provisions provided for by the Local Government Code of 1991 which enable the local government units to attain their fullest development as self-reliant communities. (Mary Christine Anthonette M. Salise, DILG-13/PIA-Caraga)