The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 6 through the Forestland Management Project (FMP) turned over Agroforestry Support Facilities (ASF) funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) at several sites in Janiuay, Lambunao, and Calinog towns in Iloilo on January 25 and 26, 2024.

A total of ten (10) ASF projects worth PHP 108,868,989.42 were turned-over by the implementing agencies.

Four (4) are in Janiuay namely;

  • Canauillian Hanging Bridge at Brgy. Canauillian,
  • Panuran Irrigation Pipeline System at Brgy. Panuran,
  • Quipot-Barasalon Pathway Phase II at Brgy Quipot to Brgy. Barasalon,
  • And, Atimonan Irrigation Pipeline System at Brgy. Atimonan;

Three (3) are in Calinog which are;

  • Hilwan Irrigation Pipeline System at Brgy. Hilwan,
  • Garangan Access Road at Brgy. Garangan,
  • And, Binolosan Pequeño to Guinbunyugan Access Road at Brgys. Binolosan Pequeño and Guinbunyugan;

Three (3) projects as well for Lambunao namely;

  • Jayubo to Cabatangan Proper Pathway at Brgys. Jayubo and Cabatangan,
  • Bagongbong Hanging Bridge and Bagongbong Irrigation Pipeline System, both of which are situatued at Brgy. Bagongbong of the said town.

The PATUFA Coffee Value Chain Facility on the other hand is another project by DENR 6-FMP and JICA and is located at Brgy. Panuran, Janiuay, Iloilo.

A turn-over ceremony for all stated projects was held at Brgy. Garangan, Calinog on January 26, 2023 in which, personally present were DENR OIC-Assistant Secretary for Field Operations - Western Mindanao and concurrent Director of FMP Arleigh J. Adorable, DENR 6 Regional Executive Director Livino B. Duran, Calinog Mayor Francisco Calvo, Mr. Tachikawa Jumpei from the Embassy of Japan, JICA Project Formulation Adviser Ms. Takao Ryoko, JICA Senior Program Officer Mr. Kessy Reyes, FMP Project Manager Marlon Atienza, PENR Officer Salvador C. Manglinong Jr., CENR Officer Glenn S. Del Norte, FMP Focal Person Antonio Latuza, and PGENRO Head Atty. Cesar Emmanuel P. Buyco Jr.  who is representing Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr.

Also gracing the event are DENR 6 Finance Division Chief Amellee Sardia, DENR 6 Planning and Management Division OIC-Chief Evangeline Regino, Regional Strategic Communication and Initiatives Group (RSCIG) Chief Artemio Salvador Colacion, representatives from the DENR Central Office, officers of the Philippine Army and Philippine National Police, members of the different peoples organizations (POs) who are project beneficiaries, Punong Barangay Allan Casiple, and the people of Brgy. Garangan.

“Allow me to take this opportunity to congratulate each and everyone…These ASF sub-projects are expected to significantly improve not only the mobility of communities especially our POs, but also to improve the productivity of plantations. This is the main reason why there is an ASF sub-component in the project design. Basically to connect plantations to the markets so that people from the uplands can have alternative sources of income,” Asec. Adorable said.

RED Duran also expressed his appreciation to all the stakeholders who tirelessly worked during the course of the projects’ implementation and reminded everyone to protect the forests that surround the communities of Calinog.

“Our job will not end here but this is a continuing activity into the future…We have to learn from the lessons nga nahibaluan naton sa Forestland Management Project. Sa subong, gusto ko magpasalamat direkta sa tanan nga nagbulig sa sining aton mga proyekto…Ipakita naton sa ila nga in everything that we do, we will succeed. Indi lang para bsa aton, kundi para sa mga masunod nga henerasyon,” RED Duran expressed in his message.

On the part of JICA, Mr. Ryoko gave the stakeholders a glimpse of the projects’ journey leading up to their completion. She also recognized the different challenges faced by the stakeholders in the years since the start of the project implementation as well as the importance of forest conservation.

“We are here gathered not only to inaugurate the completion of these ten facilities but also to celebrate the total success of FMP projects of DENR Region 6 and of course, our partner POs and LGUs. I truly understand the various challenges and issues that the DENR Region 6 and our partner POs and LGUs have faced during this 10-year implementation of FMP. But I hope that these experiences and lessons learned have further strengthened your organizations in implementing forest related projects. With that said, I express my sincere appreciation and congratulations to all DENR personnel and partners for your excellent job done,” Ms. Ryoko said.

Mayor Calvo of Calinog and Punong Barangay Casiple of Garangan also gave their messages of acceptance in behalf of the municipality and the communities directly benefitting from the inaugurated projects.

“Formally namun nga gina-accept kag nagapasalamat gid ang bug-os nga banwa sang Calinog…Amun i-maintain ang mga projects daya nga permi limpyuhan, ginapasarig ko gid na,” Mayor Calvo said.

Tinguhaaan kag himuon gid namun nga mapangalagaan, ma-sustain, kag ma-maintain para sa benepisyo para sa amun future. Nagapasalamat gid kami kay pareho gani sa ginhambal ni Mayor, kaja nga proyekto daw gindamgo lang pero nagtupa,” Punong Barangay Casiple uttered.

Aside from visiting the newly constructed access road at Brgy. Garangan, the team from DENR and JICA also went to Brgy. Panuran, Janiuay a day earlier to inspect and inaugurate the Agroforestry Value Chain Facility and met with the locals who are now reaping the benefits of the said project