DENR awards 30 groups for environment activities

Awardees engage in enterprising ventures

Thirty community and self-help organizations were recognized for their enterprising ventures in reforestation “while promoting industries and jobs to the communities.”

The groups were awarded for adapting technology on developing products from bamboo, Falcata, oysters, or locally called talaba, and a plant species called “tikog” used in handicrafts.

Melody M. Aguiba, owner of the Manila-based publishing firm, Growth Publishing, said the DENR Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau “picked 30 top technology adopters because of the sustainability of the technology and the benefits derived as reforestation projects contribute to carbon sequestration, biodiversity preservation, and environmental beautification”.

Awardees include private individuals, people’s organizations, nongovernment organizations, and local government units (LGU).

“These nature conservators were recognized for their accomplishments in planting bamboo, the fast-growing tree Falcata used in making plywood, mangroves that led to selling of talaba, and in propagating the plant species tikog used in handicrafts-making,” Aguiba said.

Eleven of the awardees were in Mindanao.

Among the awardees was the town of Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur “as aided by the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office to put up 1,357.25 hectares of Falcata plantations in Patin-ay”.

The town sourced 77 kilos of improved Falcata seeds from the ERDB-ran Mindanao Tree Seed Center (MTSC).  These were distributed to 472 beneficiaries under the Upland Sustainable Agri-forestry Development Program.

In Bukidnon, the ERDB awarded Antonio Dominao “for widely distributing the giant bamboo species which are used as support for Mindanao’s export-oriented banana trees”.

“Dominao is just a government laborer at the experimental and bamboo plantation of ERDB-DENR Region 10. Since 1987, he became interested as an adopter and established a bamboo nursery at his own residence in Impalutao, Impasug-ong, Bukidnon,” Aguiba said,

His nursery now sells 50,000 giant bamboo seedlings per month at P20 each, generating P1 million from it, she said.

Another awardee, from Sto Tomas, Davao del Norte was the San Jose Agroforestry Farmers Association (SJAFA), recognized for creating jobs from bamboo as they make it into the special handicraft “liyang.”

Liyang is a finely woven narrow container made of Bocaue bamboo species used for storage of rice and other food items.

SJAFA members learned bamboo nursery establishment from ERDB, the agency said.  They were mostly vegetable farmers who traded many goods like latundan and livestock. They practice bamboo propagation through culm cuttings. The ERDB said they planted bamboo to rehabilitate the Longaob River.

The ERDB’s Technology Transfer division worked with the Department of Trade and Industry in Region 11 for skills training on liyang, a technique that ERDB said was also used in bag weaving for women members.

“The members from Sitio Talos are handicraft maker/basket weaver and belong to Indigenous Peoples group of Ata-Manobo tribes,” said ERDB.

Their bamboo finished products have been showcased in many trade fairs and exhibits, the ERDB said.

For their bamboo poles, the buyers include banana plantations TADECO, Marsman, and North Davao Quarry Association, generating additional income.

“Women earn additional income from ‘liyang’ making priced at P100 to P150 per piece. Women produce 2-3 liyang per day.”  (MTC)