DENR Bicol all set for the Balik Probinsya Program

Poised to bolster a community-driven social recovery-cum-greening project, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Bicol is all set for the Balik Probinsya Program (BPP) which targets to enroll 500 Albayano slum-dweller families in the same aiming to develop and manage an area covering 1,115 hectares (has) of denuded forestland in Brgy. Tapel and Nagas in Oas.

Director Gonzales said that the program is a means of relocating some Albayanos from slum areas in Metro Manila and also some forest occupants within the identified site.

The project site will be divided into five clusters with 200 has per cluster and each cluster will be managed by 100 families according to a report from Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Imelda Baltazar of Albay.

“Our field personnel from the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) Albay are on the survey mapping and planning process and have been busy laying down the pre-development strategies of the Balik Probinsya Program,” RED Gonzales averred.

“The program per se has a two pronged approach, one is social recovery and the other is the supplementation of the National Greening Program (NGP)” he added. “First it will transform more than a thousand hectares into agricultural-silvicultural farming while empowering the recipient community with adequate financial and infrastructural support vis-à-vis the establishment and maintenance of the project area by the 500 household beneficiaries adopting the concept of NGP”.

Baltazar’s report cited the nursery establishment; seedling production of 631,435 saplings with pili as major species; rice and cash crop production; livestock production; community organizing; community facilities; infrastructure development such as farm to market road, health center, chapel and residential houses as among the project components that the project will offer to the beneficiaries.

“The project is in tune with the convergence initiative that President Aquino is espousing, and among our partner agencies are Department of Agriculture, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Agrarian Reform, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Public Works and Highways, and the National Housing Authority,” Gonzales said.          

Press Release: March 4, 2013