Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-XI) recently convened with its different partners from the National Government Agencies and the Local Government Units to discuss about the implementation of the Sustainable Integrated Area Development (SIAD) wherein Marilog District is one of the pilot sites in Region XI.
SIAD is one of the pillars of governance in the conservation and management of environment and natural resources which aims to improve the communities' quality of life by establishing integrated area development-based models and showcase their best practices.
DENR Regional Director Ruth M. Tawantawan said that SIAD is in consonance with the mandate of the Department and in response to the primary agenda of President Rodrigo R. Duterte which is to address poverty.
"Through SIAD, we are aiming to uplift the living conditions of the communities in the area and to make this area an eco-tourism site in the future to cater not only local tourists but international tourists as well," she said.
Tawantawan also emphasized during the meeting that the implementation will involve convergence with stakeholders like the National Government Agencies, Local Government Units, civil society organizations, academe, networks of environmentalists and private sectors.
Under the SIAD, DENR has identified 29 priority areas nationwide of which 8 are in Region XI namely: Marilog District in Davao City; Mt. Apo Natural Park in Davao del Sur; Talaingod in Davao del Norte; Mt. Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary in Davao Oriental; Pujada Bay Protected Landscape and Seascape in Davao Oriental; Aliwagwag Protected Landscape; Ngan Panansalan in Compostela Valley Province and; Mainit Hotsprings Protected Landscape.
DENR-XI will pilot Marilog District and Mt. Hamiguitan wherein the Department has a target to develop these areas within 6 months.
In Marilog District, a total of 276 households belonging to 5 People's Organizations (POs) will be tapped. With an initial fund of PhP 10 million, there will be an establishment of Bamboo plantations as well as agro-forestry plantations like cacao, rubber, fruit trees and timber in the area. Other undertakings will also include distribution of vegetable seeds, rehabilitation of Multi-purpose Building in Brgy. Marahan, Horticulture, establishment of Souvenir Shops and Parks and Esplanades.
Moreover, DENR-XI will also try to look into the 5-hectare area of Nanay Soling, the President's mother, located in Marahan, Marilog District to be developed as an eco-tourism site. Emmanuel "Dodong" Durterte, the President's brother welcomed the undertaking and said he is hoping that the plans for developing the area as an eco-tourism site will push through.
"This undertaking is very much appreciated and I am positive that the DENR together with the different agencies can work together to make this area an eco-tourism site and help augment the livelihood of the community. It's about time to show to the world what Davao can offer in terms of eco-tourism," he said.
Department of Agriculture Regional Director Engr. Ricardo M. Onate pledged his support in the implementation of SIAD saying that his Department will give assistance in terms of providing vegetable seeds that will be distributed to the households. He also said that he will discuss with the City Agriculture Office regarding the possible enterprise development in Marilog.
On the other hand, City Environment and Natural Resources Officer (CENRO) Lisa Madrazo suggested that there must also be baseline data and an inventory of existing projects in the area to identify other appropriate activities to be undertaken.
Having the target to develop the area within 6 months, Tawantawan said that a weekly Action Plan will be done wherein a timeline for each activity to be undertaken every week will be listed and be monitored.
Issues such as rehabilitation of existing fishponds in the area, establishment of potable water system, organic gardening, signages and public restrooms to cater the travelers among others were also discussed.
Aside from the DA, City Agricultural Office and the City ENRO, other agencies who attended the convergence meeting were: Department of Tourism, City Engineers Office, City Planning Office, the Barangay Kagawad of Mintal, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) of Davao del Sur and City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) of Davao City.