BORONGAN CITY, March 3, 2017–The Development Bank of the Philippines, in partnership with the Provincial Government launched last week the DBP Forest Project in San Policarpo.
The project aims to rehabilitate 60 hectares of mangrove forests in the towns of Arteche, San Policarpo, Oras and General MacArthur.
Mangroves in these towns were destroyed when typhoons Yolanda in 2013 and Ruby in 2014 hit the province.
DBP will provide a grant of Php 5 million, which will be used in the procurement of planting materials, and livelihood assistance for seaweed farmers in the identified areas.
The farmers will provide labor in the planting, and maintenance of the mangroves and seaweeds while the Provincial government and the DENR will give technical assistance.
The launching was attended by DBP President and CEO Cecilia Borromeo, and San Policarpo Mayor Thelma Nicart.
Mangroves are spawning grounds of fish and other marine species. They protect coastal communities from typhoons, floods and tidal surges. In some cases, mangrove forests become tourism attractions.
Eastern Samar was chosen for this project because it is frequently hit by typhoons.
“We hope to see in the future that the project area will be transformed into a lush mangrove forest,” said Borromeo as she urged the LGU’s and farmer beneficiaries to work together and make the project successful.
She hopes that the rehabilitated mangrove forests will not only protect, but also restore the abundance of marine life.
The farmers will be given access to DBP’s financing facility for projects in agriculture, processing and marketing.
The forest project is a Corporate Social Responsibility program of the DBP. (Eden Cidro / Este News)