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Palawan LGUs to pool P200-M for areas badly-hit by Super Typhoon Odette

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY (PIA) -- Local government units in Palawan have committed around P200 million to support the “green” recovery of four areas that were heavily impacted by Super Typhoon Odette (international name: Rai) in 2021.

The green recovery is a collaborative effort from government and international development agencies like USAID SIBOL and RTI International to assist sites in Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (PPSRNP), Cleopatra’s Needle Critical Habitat (CNCH), and the municipalities of Roxas and San Vicente, with a total recorded damage of 126,731.29 hectares.

“After the devastating impact of Typhoon Odette, ay ang pagkabuhay ng green assessment initiative from collaborative efforts from various organizations. Ang post-typhoon Odette assessment revealed that over half of our 9,619 hectares of forest have suffered damage,

[After the devastating impact of Typhoon Odette, a green assessment initiative was established through collaborative efforts from various organizations. The post-typhoon Odette assessment revealed that over half of our 9,619 hectares of forest have suffered damage],” PPSRNP superintendent Elizabeth Maclang said.

Each technical working group of four sites presented their recovery plans for five to 10 years after the damages sustained in 2021 and targets to restore 90,000 hectares.

The technical working groups of four affected sites present the three investment packages of post-Odette green recovery efforts in Palawan. (Photo by Rachel Ganancial/PIA Palawan)

About P15 million per year will be allocated by the PPSRNP from its income generated out of the entrance fee in the underground river to support its continuous recovery. The towns of Roxas and San Vicente also committed public funds for their short- and long-term green recovery.

The green recovery efforts are packaged into three investment packages: forest restoration, protected area rehabilitation, and support for community value chains.

The forest restoration will sponsor the restoration of terrestrial and mangrove ecosystems through various typologies, which include spontaneous regeneration, assisted natural regeneration, enrichment planting, post-planting management, and protection. 

About 6,447 hectares, or approximately 50 percent of the total area of mangrove sites, were heavily damaged.

One of the affected coastal barangays of Roxas town after typhoon Odette’s onslaught in 2021. (Photo by Rachel Ganancial)

The cost reaches P50,000 per hectare per year for the establishment of primary and satellite nurseries for the propagation of target indigenous and endemic flora species, seed and wilding collection, plant maintenance, supply of planting material to sites, and other activities.

The rehabilitation of protected areas will also cover 12 ecotourism sites within PPSRNP, CNCH, and the municipalities of Roxas and San Vicente. Aside from rehabilitation, the recovery efforts will also engage indigenous cultural communities to adopt sustainable harvesting practices and provide input to develop and manage their community livelihood enterprises.

The Odette’s onslaught damaged the sources of almaciga, honey bees, and rattan in indigenous peoples communities.

To continuously cover all three packages for a five- to 10-year recovery, the affected sites are still seeking additional funding of P1 billion from various sectors, such as private groups.

The USAID SIBOL believes that making the place environmentally friendly is a way to ensure its sustainability. The communities can also support community-based enterprises and push development towards green tourism.

Engr. Jusette Cortes, board member of the Puerto Princesa Chamber of Commerce and Industry, underscores the vital role of nature in the tourism and business sectors. “Nature is one big factor for tourism to drive business,” she said.

Some of the incentives that sponsors could get are the certificate of donation (tax certificate), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) national greening program recognition branding and marking, and the opportunity for employee engagement. (RG/PIA MIMAROPA - Palawan)

About the Author

Rachel Ganancial

Information Officer

Region 4B

Information Officer of PIA-MIMAROPA/ Palawan

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