The Rotary District 3830 and the Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm (IPPF) planted the first batch of bamboo seedlings in the penal farm as part of a project to create a local bamboo sanctuary.

Rotary District 3830 assistant governor Marvin Rodriguez who initiated the project announced that the first 448 bamboo seedlings were planted at the IPPF firing range area on Saturday, October 29, as part of the 11,000 targets. The project is supported by the Rotary Club of Puerto Princesa and the Rotary Club of Alabang- Daang Hari.

The project will cover approximately 50 hectares of land in the four IPPF sub-colonies of Iwahig, Montible, Inagawan, and Sta. Lucia.

“Ang pagtatanim ng kawayan ay isa sa haligi ng proyekto ng Rotary kaya at sana ay mapuno natin ito ng kawayan. Kapag tumubo na at lumaki ay maaari tayong gumawa ng mga training programs para sa handicraft total meron na nagawang livelihood training center na global grant,” he said.

Rodriguez believes that planting bamboo trees will benefit not only environmental conservation but also the IPPF’s livelihood program. The bamboo sanctuary has the potential to become both an eco-tourism destination and a source of raw materials for handcrafted products.

To ensure that the giant bamboo variety would grow within five years, the group planted it at a 10×10 distance.

The environment is one of their “areas of focus,” according to Ruth Consebido, president of the Rotary Club of Puerto Princesa Central.

“Kami ay may areas of focus, [at] kasama ang ating evironment. Sana ay mapangalagaan natin ito dahil in the future, ito na ang palit sa ating mga kahoy. Magagamit natin ito sa ating mga kabuhayan,” she said.

Her husband, Rotary Club of Puerto Princesa District 3830 Club President Ulysses Consebido, also added that the assistance of the Rotary Club in the IPPF also involves skills training to persons deprived of liberty (PDL) while committed inside the penal farm. 

Gary Garcia, the chief corrections inspector and new IPPF superintendent, assured that his management would continue to participate and join the Rotary Club in its goals.

“Sa susunod na gagawin natin ito ay i-involve na natin ang PDL para makita ito, not only ‘yong mga empleyado natin dito pati ang mga sibilyan. Ipakita natin na sa lahat ng gawain sa Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm ay involve ang mga PDL,” he said.

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is one of the senior reporters of Palawan News. She covers agriculture, business, and different feature stories. Her interests are collecting empty bottles, aesthetic earrings, and anything that is color yellow.