The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 7, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 7 and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 7 are all set for the establishment of around 1,172 hectares of tree plantations to replace the trees affected by road widening projects implemented in Central Visayas.

This, after DENR 7 Regional Executive Director Paquito D. Melicor, Jr., DPWH 7 Regional Director Edgar B. Tabacon and DSWD 7 Regional Director Rebecca P. Geamala together with their respective key officials recently signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the joint implementation of tree replacement for the 25 road widening projects implemented by DPWH in 2018 as part of the Build, Build, Build Program of the Duterte Administration.

“The MOA is to ensure that all concerned agencies are fully involved in the implementation and ensure that replacement of affected roadside trees would be successfully carried out for the sustainable management of our environment,” said Melicor.

The five-year implementation of the project will start in 2020 until 2025 with an allocated budget from DPWH of 134 million which includes the production of around 586,348 seedlings, establishment of plantations and maintenance and protection activities to ensure higher survival rate.

According to RED Melicor, DENR 7 and DSWD 7 are eyeing for around 35 partner people’s organizations in the region who will serve as the implementor and beneficiaries of the project.

“Through this project we intend to establish our target of 1,172-hectare tree plantations, mobilize social efforts in the management and protection of our forests and also provide additional job opportunities to our local communities in the upland areas,” Melicor explained.

Of the 25 road widening projects implemented by DPWH, 15 were implemented in Cebu province, two in Bohol and eight in Negros Oriental.