The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) CALABARZON entered into partnership, through signing of Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Atikha Overseas Workers and Communities Initiative Inc., for the greening initiatives in the region.
The Atikha is a non-government organization working with Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) and their families. They have adopted 34 hectares of graduated NGP Site planted with coffee and guyabano, located at Barangay Concepcion-Pinagbakuran and Concepcion-Banahaw, Sariaya, Quezon, which was found within the Mts. Banahaw-San Cristobal Protected Landscape.
“Even if the area to be adopted will be 34 hectares and with 86% survival rate, what I am impressed with Atikha is its concept of livelihood and support to the communities” expressed Tayabas Community ENR Officer Cyril Coliflores. “I am also challenging the Atikha to be a good partner of the DENR in enhancing and helping the communities within the NGP Area”, he added.
“We already have 89 MOAs all throughout CALABARZON”, Regional NGP Coordinator Herminigildo Jocson disclosed. He also compared the bayanihan spirit to the Tayo Ang Kalikasan program, “DENR cannot really perform all these activities for our environment, we really need the help of our civil society for us to address climate change and regreening program”, he added.
Meanwhile, Assistant Regional Director for Technical Services Alfredo Palenceia lauded the women behind Atikha for taking on the challenge of being a partner of the Agency.
Estrella Anonuevo, Chairperson of Atikha, expressed her appreciation to DENR, “natutuwa ako sa partnership na ito dahil magiging instrumento ang Atikha sa pagpoprotekta natin sa environment as well as assist our farmers”. She added that their organization plans to stimulate the local economy and provide jobs and alternative sources of income for the community, “ang plano ng Atikha for the 5-Year Development Plan is to make this as a model project for agroforestry farm business kung saan kikita ang ating farmers”.
DENR CALABARZON Regional Executive Director Nilo B. Tamoria emphasized the importance and challenges of the management of an NGP site located within a Protected Area, “sisiguraduhin natin na maireverse ang biodiversity loss into a better survival rate at magkaroon ng impact sa ating ecosystem, at the same time yung economic component at yung sinasabing social enterprise.” He also added that the bigger challenge lies in the actual implementation of the agreements stipulated in the MOA.
Further, PENRO Salac invites all NGO specifically in Quezon province to adopt NGP sites in the province.
DENR CALABARZON calls for interested organizations to partner for NGP, you may coordinate with the closest DENR Officer in your area. DENR CALABARZON is also urging the public to report Environment and Natural Resources-related cases via hotline 8888, sms to 0956 182 5774 / 0919 874 4369, email to firstname.lastname@example.org or send photos, videos and other information via https://www.facebook.com/DENR4AOfficial/.