TACLOBAN CITY-The regional office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has launched the beach forest plantations project for Eastern Visayas in Barangay 89(Payapay0, this city.
Leonardo Sibbaluca, executive director of the DENR-8, said that the launching of the beach forest plantation held last October 7 in a one-hectare area has planted around 8,000 beach forest tree species seedlings which included, Talisay, Bitu-on, Narra and Putat.

Sibbaluca said that the project is part of the Leyte Gulf mangrove and beach forest rehabilitation project of the DENR for Eastern Visayas covering 20,000 hectares with a funding of P1 billion. He added that the beach forest plantations cover around 8,800 hectares of beaches along the affected areas of supertyphoon Yolanda. The director informed reporters that the implementation of this project in the three provinces hardest hit by Yolanda – Eastern Samar, Samar, and Leyte, is a priority task of the DENR. “The agency taps the barangay local government unit through a cash-for-work program for the site establishment and development, planting, and maintenance and protection activities. This project hopes to bring back the lush beach and mangrove forest which serves as safety buffer for the people.”

Sibbaluca explained that beach forest plantation is established in areas which not inundated by water and the tree species planted are suited for the beaches while for the clayey, muddy and water logged areas mangrove species are planted. Meanwhile, Leyte provincial environment and natural resources officer Ranulfo Arbiol said that a total of 208 hectares of beaches in the province is targeted for planting until the end of next month covering four municipalities and Tacloban with a total of 36 barangays. Arbiol added that for this city, there are 15 barangays with a total of 128 hectares are covered; Palo, four barangays covered with a total of 22 hectares; Tanauan, five barangays with 15 hectares; Tolosa, six villages covering 19 hectares and Dulag with six barangays covering 29 hectares. (RESTITUTO A. CAYUBIT)