The park management of the underground river in the city aims to secure funding from a three-day business meeting with stakeholders to support its P168 million green recovery plan after Typhoon Odette’s massive destruction in 2021.
Elizabeth Maclang, the superintendent of Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (PPSRNP), has outlined a budget allocation for four recovery strategies. These strategies encompass spontaneous natural regeneration, assisted natural regeneration (ANR), assisted natural regeneration with enrichment planting, and protection measures.
The plan was presented to the business sector, including non-government organizations and civil society groups from August 8 to 10.
“Sa tatlong araw na business planning ay ipi-present na ngayon sa business sectors, possible donors or institutions na pwedeng mag-sponsor nito kasi malaki. Ang plan ay nabuo namin for 10 years starting this year, iyan ang kakailanganin namin na basehan namin for green recovery,” Maclang said.
The PPUR management received assistance from USAID’s Philippine Sustainable Interventions for Biodiversity, Oceans, and Landscapes (SIBOL) program, starting from a workshop in the last quarter of 2022 to the plan’s writeshop in 2023.
Among the strategies, the ANR strategy has been allocated the largest budget of P64 million, requiring human intervention to execute the recovery efforts. The PPUR management estimated that 60 percent of the 22,202-hectare covered area suffered damage, with 40 percent of these damages targeted for recovery through ANR.
“Nakita namin na hindi posibleng taniman pa namin ang mga tuktok ng bundok at mga karst mountain diyan, forest na nasa itaas, so iyon na ang natural regeneration. Nabawasan ang target namin, 40 percent na lang magiging assisted,” said Maclang.
The ANR strategy will include activities such as massive tree planting and the development of nurseries. Maclang hopes to recover endemic forest trees and premium hardwood species damaged by the typhoon. Three nurseries have already been established in the barangays of Marufinas, Cabayugan, and Tagabinet through Conservation International.
The P168 million will be used to implement the recovery plan for 10 years starting in 2023. (RPG/PIA MIMAROPA – Palawan)