Rain Forestation Project Launched In Angat Watershed

The Department of Science and Technology, National Power Corp.(Napocor), Bulacan State University and different "green" and private groups in Bulacan launched recently a rain forestation project inside the Angat watershed.

"Punuan para sa Kagubatan: Angat Watershed Rainforestation" is located in Barangay Kabayunan in Donya Remedios Trinidad town and in Sitio Suha, Barangay San Mateo in the municipality of Norzagaray.

Project proponents Gurong Nagbabalik sa Bayan Inc. and Bulacan State University signed a memorandum of agreement with partners Napocor, Sagip Sierra Madre Environmental Society Inc. and Steel Asia Manufacturing Corp.

It was conceived to raise efforts to plant various species of indigenous dipterocarps that may help resuscitate the Angat watershed.

Launched last week, the rain forestation endeavor in the watershed is a five-year project that will involve the communities in the periphery of a 25-hectare tree-planting site.

The watershed's deforestation was said to have been brought about by timber poaching and charcoal-making.

Ryan Bernabe, vice president for information technology of Steel Asia, said that their company is only too glad to be invited in this endeavor, which he described as the start of a long term cooperation for the protection of the environment.

Ma. Gladys Sta. Rita, Napocor's president and chief executive officer, explained that based on the studies conducted by the University of the Philippines – Los Baños, the Angat watershed is the most well-managed in the country and 92 percent of its forest cover is still intact.

She also admitted that around 2,000 hectares have been converted to grassland due to slash and burn activities or the "kaingin" system of upland farmers.

On the other hand, Science Secretary Fortunato dela Peña said that one of the major problems that the world is facing is brought about by climate change, which impacts on potable water sources.

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