The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has inked an agreement with the provincial government of Iloilo to co-manage a part of the Maasin Watershed Forest Reserve and enhance the reforestation effort in the area.

DENR-Region 6 Assistant Regional Director for Management Service Livino B. Duran signed the agreement with Iloilo Gov. Arthur D. Defensor Sr. during the 16th Piyesta ng Kakahuyan held September 12, 2015 in Maasin, Iloilo.

“This agreement between the DENR and the Iloilo provincial government is indicative of Gov. Defensor’s active leadership to share in the responsibility of managing and maintaining the ecological balance in the province, a move that is in accord with the Local Government Code,” Duran said.

According to him, the Maasin watershed is a big boost to the water capacity of the province. But with a growing population, the DENR official expressed apprehension the watershed may not be able to sustain its capacity to provide sufficient water for the people unless it is rehabilitated and protected from destructive human activities.

The co-management agreement calls for the Iloilo government to implement rehabilitation and protection activities within the adopted area of 659.25 hectares, in accordance with the development plan that will be prepared by the local government.

The DENR, on the hand, is tasked under the MOA to provide technical assistance to the LGU to ensure the success of the project.

Aside from the agreement signing, a tree planting activity participated in by representatives from non-government organizations, national government agencies in the region and other sectors also highlighted the 16th celebration of Piyesta ng Kakahuyan in the province. ###