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P20M earmarked for Ecija UPRIIS climate change project

CABANATUAN CITY — At least P20 million worth of funds has been allocated by the National Irrigation Administration-Upper Pampanga River Integrated Irrigation Systems for their watershed management program (WMP) to mitigate the effects of climate change for this year 2021, a top irrigation official said here yesterday.

Engr. Rosalinda B. Bote, NIA-UPRIIS department managers said the budget for the WMP was allocated by the agency in its bid to ensure that its watershed areas are continuously protected amid the impact of climate change on the country.

Bote said the force account works for the WMP, which was prepared by the Pantabangan Dam and Reservoir Division involves the replanting, maintenance, and protection of the 320-hectare established plantation for the said UPRIIS’ climate change project.

The watershed activity involves replanting of hardwood such as narra, molave and mimosa, and fruit-bearing trees like cashew, guyabano, duhat, , sampalok, langka and bignai trees.

Kaya continuous ang watershed activity natin sa Pantabangan area, at hindi lang doon tayo may climate-change-related activity na isinasagawa, the UPRIIS department manager said.

Bote noted that the agency is also conducting similar replanting activities at the Upper Tabuating Irrigation Project and the Macanae Dam project in the towns of General Tinio and Lupao, respectively.

In General Tinio, at least 5,000 fruit-bearing trees were already planted in collaboration with the administration of former mayor Virgilio Bote and now with the proposed eco-tourism agreement forged with incumbent mayor Isidro T. Pajarillaga, while more than 21,000 seedlings of molave, bamboo and narra were planted in Lupao.

Malaking tulong itong ginagawa natin sapagkat na-re-restore ang watershed area, naaayos ang gilid ng daan at ang mga slopes ng reservoir, kaya mas madali ang pag-ha-harvest ng tubig para sa dam, nako-kontrol ang erosion at hindi mababahaw ang reservoir ng dam,” added Engr. Bote.

Meanwhile, Bote said several patrolling operations that were conducted to protect the Pantabangan watershed area during the period January to December 2020 have resulted in the seizure of six pieces of chainsaw, 1,252 board feet of gmelina and 1,500 culms of bocawe.

Publication Source :    People's Tonight
Steve A. Gosuico
Past President, Nueva Ecija Press Club, Inc.