THE restoration and rehabilitation of mangroves in Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte that was severely affected by super typhoon “Odette” in December 2021, will soon start with the signing of a memorandum of agreement between the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Jaime V. Ongpin Foundation, Inc. (JVOFI) for the said endeavor.
DENR acting Secretary Jim O. Sampulna and JVOFI President Reinaldo A. Bautista Jr. signed the MOA wherein they committed to conducting a three-year post-disaster restoration and rehabilitation of 143 hectares of mangrove on Siargao Island.
Under the MOA, the JVOFI will provide P10 million to cover the cost of restoration and rehabilitation of storm-damaged mangroves, particularly in the municipalities of Del Carmen, Dapa, General Luna, San Benito, and Socorro in the province of Surigao del Norte, and for the implementation of solid waste management activities in the island.
Meanwhile, DENR-Region 13 (CARAGA) together with the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) in Surigao del Norte and Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) in Dapa will serve as project implementers.
They will conduct the identification and delineation of the 143-hectare mangrove site and determine the mode of plantation establishment, protection, and maintenance.
Sampulna commended the JVOFI for financing the mangrove restoration and rehabilitation project.
Typhoon Odette which hit the island in December ravaged its agriculture, infrastructure, and environment, and damaged more than a hundred hectares of mangroves planted through the National Greening Program.
Sampulna assured that the DENR, specifically its field offices in Region 13, will work hard for the successful project implementation in Siargao.
“The partnership recognizes the importance of addressing climate change and the sense of urgency to act now. We need our mangroves more than ever,” Sampulna emphasized.
For his part, Bautista said that the signing of the MOA is just the beginning of their continuing partnership with the DENR.
“We are thankful to be a part of this initiative and to be able to serve our communities,” Bautista added.
Siargao Island is home to hundreds of flora and fauna species, with a highly diverse mangrove forest, accounting for 19 out of 54 known mangrove species in the world.
In 2019, the Marine Protected Areas Support Network has awarded the “Para El Mar Best Mangrove Award” in the Philippines to Del Carmen Mangrove Site.