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Forest Management Bureau Director Nonito M. Tamayo, CESO IV, and Concurrent Project Director of INREMP.

 

     There are plenty of reasons to be hopeful this year 2019 as we embark to bring to a decent position the Integrated Natural Resources and Environmental Management Project after an almost five-year hiatus.    

 

Our project has sailed through very rough seas so to speak – almost ending up being canceled. Because of the significant delays in the implementation, INREMP underwent a project restructuring which was approved by the NEDA Board on April 25, 2018. The project restructuring included (i) partial cancellation from the ADB loan;(ii) full cancellation of the CCF grant; (iii) reallocation of the remaining loan and grant proceeds; (iv) reallocation of ADB loan proceeds to finance project activities in Region 10 originally planned to be financed by IFAD f; (v) changes in the performance targets in the design and monitoring framework; and (vi) partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for the implementation of the Livelihood Enhancement Support (LES) investments in three regions except for ARMM. But on a brighter note, the canceled amount from the loan and grant proceeds with a total of USD 55.83 Million or Php2.73 Billion was reallocated for the Marawi City rehabilitation.

 

From September 2- October 6, 2018, our funding agencies led by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) re-evaluated the project's accomplishments through an implementation review mission. During the mission, ADB noted the strong commitment and active participation of our Peoples Organizations in project implementation and strong support of our field implementing units to our POs. They are happy that the beneficiaries appreciated the support that they have been receiving from the Project. The also took note of the strong presence and support of the DA-CAR and DTI as well as the LGUs. However, the evaluation mission still observed that despite the Project’s initial salvo, it does not strongly manifest in terms of financial disbursements.

 

Truly, the project might have encountered rough sailing for 2018 but we did see a silver lining as INREMP glided through the waves and survived the storm. We saw some bright spots for the project as it marked its first RI subproject implemented in the Local Government of Kibawe, Bukidnon - a farm-to-market road rehabilitation. Through a partnership with the International Potato Center (CIP), several of our POs/IPOs in Wahig-Inabanga River Basin (Bohol) were enrolled and trained in Farmer Business School (FBS), wherein they acquired different skills to transform their camote, gabi, taro, and other root and tuber crops into products such as chips, ketchup, candy, beverage, and jam. Last July 28, 2018, in the presence of Bohol’s political leaders, they launched and introduced their developed products during the Sandugo Trade Fair in Island City Mall, Tagbilaran City, Bohol.

 Another milestone for the project in 2018 was the partnership created with the forty-one (41) Peoples Organizations in Lake Lanao River Basin, after formally inking their respective Forest Management Partnership Agreements last November 28, 2018, in Iligan City.

In the waning days of December 2018, the much awaited No Objection Letters for CBPM, RI and LES were issued by ADB paving the way for a smooth implementation in 2019. One facilitating factor that prompted the Bank to expedite issuance of the clearances could be attributed to CESM’s consolidation of the SPPs and crafting of the technical bulletin on PO accreditation.

 The year 2018, was also a year of partnership building for INREMP. In order to speed up the preparation and implementation of the other project components, DENR partnered with other government agencies such as Department of Agriculture (CAR) and the Department of Trade and Industry. DTI agreed to support the LES-2 subproject implementation of INREMP; to improve the strategies of the Livelihood Enhancement Support, through the introduction of value adding, entrepreneurial skill and market linkages to the project’s upland farmers of the four priority river basins. On the other hand, DA-CAR committed to provide assistance in the implementation of Rural Infrastructure (RI) subprojects in Chico Upper River Basin (CURB). Recently, INREMP formalized a partnership with the International Council for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF), who committed to support Natural Resources Management (NRM) subprojects particularly in Agroforestry and Conservation Farming in all the URBs.

 

Moving forward, INREMP had been approved for an extension per the Investment Coordination Committee (ICC)-Cabinet Committee meeting held on March 8, 2018. NEDA confirmed that the project physical completion will be on 31 December 2020. DENR had formally submitted to ADB the said decision of extending the project physical completion date from 30 June 2020 to 31 December 2020 of which the Bank has concurred within its letter of October 26, 2018.

 

The modest achievements we charted in 2018 we owe much to the men and women- all field implementers in the four URBs covered by INREMP. We also recognize the perseverance of the NPCO staff and the efforts of our assisting professionals and consultants. We are aware of the unending tasks and many challenges we are to face in the next 24 months. At this juncture, may I solicit your full support and commitment to bring INREMP to a successful conclusion? If we were able to double our accomplishments from a cumulative score of 16.7% (2013-2017) to more than 38% in 2018, can we not aim for a +40% in 2019?  With many of the hindrances being a thing of the past and if we put all our hearts and minds into one focus, we shall have less than a quarter of the work left for 2020 – our project completion year.

 

In case you have missed the article about Secretary Roy A.  Cimatu in our Kalikasan newsletter (March 2018 edition), may I invite you to ponder on the call of our leader in DENR, who said: “We cannot fail in our program, because in doing so, we fail the people and their future.”

 

“Ang Bagong Taon ay sagisag ng panibagong pagkakataon at pagpapatuloy ng magandang hangarin. Hangad ko ang isang mapayapa at matagumpay na 2019 sa ating lahat!” - NONITO M. TAMAYO, CESO IV