Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy A. Cimatu expressed his gratitude and hopes to the Build Back Better Task Force (BBBTF) through Undersecretary for Attached Agencies Rodolfo C. Garcia during the launching of the Bicol River Restoration on March 23, 2021 at Camaligan, Camarines Sur.

In his message, Secretary Cimatu conveyed his gratitude to the members of the BBBTF for their unwavering support and efforts since the Executive Order No. 120 or the Strengthening Rehabilitation and Recovery Efforts in Typhoon-Hit Areas Through the Creation of the Build Back Better Task Force was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on November 2020.

It’s been four months since the Task Force Build Back Better started to pursue rehabilitation and recovery initiatives in the disaster-affected communities in Cagayan Valley, Marikina River Basin, and Bicol River Basin. Our short, medium, and long-term plans for these areas are already in place.” Secretary Cimatu said.

Further, USec. Garcia pointed out the approval of President Duterte of the rehabilitation of the existing flood gates and pumping stations and the construction of seven flood control projects along Bicol River. “With the construction of flood control projects, combined with our sustainable dredging program and river bank restoration in the Bicol River, we hope that we are gearing towards a success with lasting impact and benefit for the future generations.”

Moreover, the DENR is also looking forward to actualize the marching order from President Duterte to enable affected families and communities through the plans and projects of the National Housing Authority relevant to the fulfillment of the Build Back Better.

Furthermore, the DENR through the BBBTF and the Local Government Units (LGUs) commit to unite and help the Bicolanos strengthen their resilience to natural calamities. With the continuous dredging and tree planting activities around the Bicol River and with the partnership with the different national government agencies, the BBB is hoping to bring significant and lasting impact not only to the Bicolanos but to the environment, as well.