DMCI Power Corporation (DPC) and the municipal government of Narra are launching before the end of the month a greening program that will plant 20,000 native tree species and a marine restoration project to prevent coral degradation in Bato-Bato, Puntod, Rasa, and Arena reefs.

The event, which is expected to be attended by town mayor Gerandy Danao, Sangguniang Bayan members, and representatives from key government and non-government offices, will take place on June 29 at the Narra Centerpoint Hall.

According to DPC, the projects were approved by the Sangguniang Bayan on January 15, 2022, via Resolution 2022-4362, which authorized acting municipal mayor Crispin Lumba to sign a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with municipal agriculture officer Antonio Gammad.

Narra will provide assistance, support the formulation, and adopt the implementation of fisheries management plans in the communities where the four coral reef areas are located.

The project will implement coral transplantation technology utilizing asexually propagated corals in order to increase the productivity of reef resources for sustainable fisheries.

Gammad said in a DPC-issued statement that the coastal barangays of Bato-Bato and Caguisan were identified as rehabilitation sites based on their suitability for restoration, the availability of enough coral fragments for transplantation, and their location inside the marine protected area (MPA).

“The program will establish Coral Nursery Units and will transplant coral fragments. These activities are expected to directly contribute to the protection of coastal communities by providing natural barriers, improvement of our marine ecosystem services, development of fishery resources, and enhancement of the underwater tourism industry,” he said.

The project’s work plan was developed by the Fisheries Management and Regulatory Unit (FARMU) headed by Noli Dieron with the local communities and has been pilot-tested in major tourism and diving sites of Palawan, including El Nido, Coron, and Taytay.

In support of the nation’s reforestation aims, DPC has committed to planting 20,000 native tree species, including bamboo, over the next three years to support the nationwide reforestation goals.

For this purpose, the DPC said it has established a total of 10 hectares of land as permanent reforestation areas in barangays Taritien and Aramaywan.

DPC Palawan plant manager Rolando Antonio Chavez, Jr. said that this project aims to grow 17,000 native trees and 2,040 bamboo clumps.

Their planting would mean the conversion of an estimated 89,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) into oxygen or the equivalent of about 9,000 hectares of lush reforested areas.

“We strongly believe and adhere to the DENR’s mandate to protect the environment and to sustain ecological balance. Our partnership with the DENR for community-based forest management is a testament to our shared responsibility and highlights our contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal on Climate Action,” Chavez said.

Additional support will be provided by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) through the mobilization of its bureaus, attached agencies, and regional offices.

Similarly, the DENR-CENRO will provide technical assistance in identifying potential sites for planting and species-site matching, as well as assistance in the documentation of planted trees, including geo-tagging, plantation registry, and mapping, among other things.