Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-6 regional executive director Jim Sampulna (5th from left) conducts a briefing on the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)-assisted Enhanced National Greening Project which will be implemented in Iloilo province at the Capitol boardroom on Wednesday, April 25, 2017. Joining the briefing are (from left) Provincial Administrator Raul Banias, National Economic Development Authority (NEDA)-6 regional director Ro-Ann Bacal, West Visayas State University president Dr. Luis Sorolla, Gov. Defensor, and representatives from other government agencies.
Governor Arthur Defensor, Sr. vowed full support to the Enhanced National Greening Project of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). The project funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will be implemented in the Jalaur River Basin which covers the municipalities of Calinog, Lambunao and Janiuay.
Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) - Iloilo chief Raul Lorilla said initially they have identified 1,500 hectares for the project with a budget of P65 million. He said, with the help of the Iloilo provincial government they will look for additional 2,500 hectares to reach the 4,000 hectares needed for the project.
DENR regional executive director Jim Sampulna said the project was supposedly intended for the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) but they lack the area so it was transferred to Region 6. “We accepted the project because it will help develop the areas covered by the project,” Sampulna said.
Aside from strengthening forestland management, the project has infrastructure component such as building of roads, hanging bridges, and community centers. It will also support the soon-to-be-implemented Jalaur River Multi-purpose Project (JRMP) II which will provide irrigation to 33 municipalities in Iloilo province. Sampulna said, for Iloilo the project will focus on agro-forestry or the planting of cacao and coffee to coincide with the thrust of Gov. Defensor to focus on the two high-value crops.
Lorilla said initially they are working on the preparations for the construction of two hanging bridges in barangays Hilwan and Aglunok in Calinog to improve accessibility to the project area. He said the JICA-funded project will be implemented until 2022. He thanked Gov. Defensor and the Iloilo provincial government for the commitment to support the project and to ensure its successful implementation.