The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) extended its Integrated Natural Resources and Environmental Management Project (INREMP) with a budget of P7.45 billion, including the preservation of the country’s second largest lake, the Lake Lanao in Lanao del Sur.
INREMP is one of the major projects of the DENR’s Forest Management Bureau (FMB). This project aims to maintain the upper river basins and watersheds to aid poverty reduction, watershed management, biodiversity protection and climate change strategy by improving the capability of local government units (LGUs), institutions and upland communities as development partners.
A loan from the Asian Development Bank and the International Fund for Agricultural Development plus donations from the Global Environment Facility and the Climate Change Fund of the Philippine government funded INREMP with a total budget of US$154.12 million or around P7.45 billion.
Last week, the DENR and the provincial government of Lanao del Sur approved the implementation agreement for the restoration of Lake Lanao added to INREMP.
Environment Secretary Gina Lopez stated, “I have no doubt in my mind that we will make a difference in Mindanao, and we’re gonna start in a big way here in Lanao Del Sur.”
Lopez hoped that the project would help improve the quality of life of the residents living around the lake within the next six months.
Lake Lanao has an immense watershed of approximately 147,460 ha. It has an area of 354.60 square kilometers and a mean depth of 60 meters, with the deepest part at 112 meters. It is the largest lake in Mindanao, the second largest in the Philippines following the Laguna de Bay. There are around 30 municipalities with 800 barangays located within the area.
DENR Region 10 Director Ruth Tawantawan and Lanao del Sur Governor Soraya Adiong signed the agreement at the Sulo Riviera Hotel in Quezon City.
Top DENR officials led by Lopez and ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman witnessed the signing.
Secretary Datu Abul Khayr Alonto, chairman of the Mindanao Development Authority, and DENR Undersecretary for International Affairs and Foreign Assisted Program Jonas Leones were also present during the event.
According to Tawantawan, the INREMP project in Lanao del Sur “is the most challenging” of the four INREMP.
She said, “We are managing a reservation that is directly under ARMM, but done through a national government agency.”
Out of the 20 poorest provinces in the country, 11 provinces in Mindanao are on the list and Lanao del Sur topped the list with percentage of 74.3 poverty incidence for the first term of 2015, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
DENR added Bukidnon to their INREMP, which covers the 535,908 hectares in the Upper Bukidnon River Basin and be benefitted by 22 municipalities. Bukidnon is also one of the 11 poorest provinces in Mindanao.
News Source: Manila Bulletin