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Calabarzon Forest Park to rise in Antipolo protected landscape

by Saul Pa-a 
September 14, 2019

WATERSHED PROTECTION. Photo shows Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO)-Rizal head Dr. Isidro Mercado (5th from left) and DENR-Calabarzon Assistant Regional Director for Management Services Nelson Gorospe (6th from left), the lead member-agencies and private sector representatives of the Regional Development Council (RDC)-Calabarzon, presenting the signed copies of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the establishment of the 25-hectare RDC Calabarzon Forest Park in the Upper Marikina River Basin Protected Landscape in Barangay San Jose, Antipolo City, Rizal. The MOA was signed on August 22, 2019. (Photo courtesy of DENR4A-RPAO)

ANTIPOLO CITY, Rizal - A 25-hectare forest park will soon rise to intensify protection and sustainable management of the Upper Marikina River Basin Protected Landscape in the San Ysiro sub-village of Barangay San Jose here.

Ann Hazel D. Javier, regional public affairs officer of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Calabarzon, told Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Friday that the establishment of the “Forest Park” was in pursuit of the Regional Development Council (RDC)-Calabarzon Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), which was forged by council member-agencies and private sector representative for their respective share in the watershed preservation during their meeting last August.

“This Calabarzon Forest Park which covers some 25 hectares within the Upper Marikina River Basin Protected Landscape is an initiative in support of the Calabarzon Regional Development Plan (RDP) 2017-2022,” Javier said.

She added the RDP hopes to intensify the protection and sustainable management of forest, watershed, coastal and marine and land through the adoption of the “ridge-to-reef” approach.


“DENR Calabarzon prepared an Implementation Plan that will ensure to increase the forest cover in the next 5 to10 years,” she added.

Under the agreement, DENR Calabarzon will provide the seedlings while the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO)-Rizal provides technical assistance during the implementation of the project.

The agreement also calls for indigenous species of trees like the batino (Alstonia macrophylla), makaasim (Syzygium nitidum), and other dipterocarp and bamboo species shall be planted, with a distance of four by five meters per tree sampling.

Member agencies and private sector representatives are also encouraged to plant fruit tree varieties such as mango, calamansi, lukban, lipote, and kasoy (cashew).

For site development, the Antipolo City government will secure the area during the establishment and each RDC member will be adopting each specific site.

Javier also said that the volunteer members are encouraged to conduct maintenance activities like strip brushing/ring weeding, staking, hole-digging, and hauling.

A 10-meter fire line will be established and flowering plants will also be planted along the boundaries of the parcels of land, Javier said.

“The agreement also entitles the community which takes care of the immediate area for the possible harvesting and utilization of the park later on,” she said. (PNA)


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