CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga, Nov.29 (PIA) -- Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) inaugurated the 55-meter long Calaocan hanging bridge in Burgos village, Carranglan, Nueva Ecija.
The infrastructure will be essential to the rehabilitation of about 44,000-hectare Pantabangan-Caranglan Watershed (PCW).
DENR Regional Executive Director Paquito Moreno Jr. said the bridge was funded by JICA as an Agroforestry Support Facility subproject in the 10-year Forest Land Management Project (FMP) in the Pantabangan-Carranglan watershed, which will connect farm areas to market towns, reduce transport cost of agricultural products, minimize post-harvest losses and ensure easier access to social services such as health and education.
"This 55-meter Calaocan hanging bridge, which traverses the Deguireg river, will be of great help not just in the conduct of developmental activities within the watershed, but will likewise be fundamental in uplifting the lives of the local communities as this will serve as a channel to increase local trade and productivity," he said.
The completion of the hanging bridge is one of DENR's strong commitments to uplift the socio-economic well-being of local communities while conserving and protecting the environment.
Moreno expressed his sincere appreciation to JICA for their generosity and as a formidable ally in bringing significance to good governance towards social and environmental development.
Launched in 2012, FMP has already rehabilitated 14,133 hectares of denuded forest lands in PCW.
Last year, it was able to construct a 3.7-kilometer farm-to-market road in Conversion village of Pantabangan town benefitting some 350 upland farmers and their families.
FMP is a 10-year reforestation project that aims to rehabilitate the PCW, one of the biggest protected areas in Central Luzon, through collaborative and comprehensive community-based forest management strategies.
It also integrates conservation and development-oriented activities with participation and capacity-building of local communities to rehabilitate degraded forestlands in three critical river basins, including Upper Magat and Cagayan in Region 2, Upper Pampanga in Region 3, and Jalaur in Iloilo. (CLJD-PIA 3)