MGB-6, PENRO Aklan and mines sector collaborate for communal bamboo plantation

(Iloilo City) – The Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Office 6 (MGB-6) and the Provincial Environment and Natural Resource Office (PENRO), DENR Aklan collaborate with permit holders of the mines sector in Region 6 and are on the final stage of entering into a memorandum of agreement.

PENRO Aklan of the DENR proposed a total of 100-hectare plantation for bamboo in two sites: 50-hectare each in Ibajay and Libacao, Aklan. According to PENRO Aborka, the DENR has 10,000 hectares bamboo propagules ready for planting but they need logistical support for the planting and care and maintenance.

The permit holders welcomed the partnership with the DENR in meeting this program for bamboo plantation.   They committed to provide the budgetary requirement for the establishment and maintenance of the bamboo plantation for three years.  As provided by the mining law, the government mandates permit holders in the mining sector to put up an environmental guarantee fund to implement environmental projects outlined in the environmental compliance certificate (ECC) and annual environmental and enhancement program (EPEP). The Mine rehabilitation Fund Committee (MRFC) manages the use of this environmental guarantee fund.

Through virtual meetings, fifteen permit holders committed to adopting the one 50-hectare site in Aklan as a communal bamboo plantation while the permit holders of the province of Aklan committed to establishing the plantation in the other 50-hectare site. The body is in the final stage of preparing the memorandum of agreement and sets to start planting in October.

MGB-6 has been coordinating with the mining sector in the region to heed the campaign of the DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu for the establishment of bamboo plantations in the country. MGB issued memorandum orders in June and July this year mandating mining companies and permit holders to allocate 20% of their final mining area for bamboo plantation. MGB, DENR allows permit holders with a smaller area such as mineral processing permits to adopt a separate area where they can establish the bamboo plantation.

Secretary Cimatu has always envisioned a lucrative industry for alternative wood in the country.  The main goal is to provide a livelihood for people in rural areas and drive economic activity for the country. Secretary Cimatu reiterated his call which is timely for the country’s need for economic recovery amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. (MGB-6, DENR)

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