The Philippine government have signed an agreement with Italy involving environmental projects worth P35 million aimed to reduce poverty in farming and fisherfolks communities in Bicol and Ifugao regions, the Department of Finance (DOF) announced on Wednesday.
The agency said Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima and Ambassador Massimo Roscigno of the Italian Embassy in Manila jointly approved the funding and the eventual grant agreement signing for the Partnership for Sustainable Management of Municipal Waters in Burias Pass for the Benefit of the Disadvantaged Sectors proposed by the Legazpi-based Bicol Consortium for Development Initiatives, Inc. (BCDI).
The agreement for the Muyong Project: An Intervention to Improve Forest Cover and Household Incomes in Upland Communities proposed by the Provincial Government of Ifugao was also signed.
According to the DOF, the project proposed by BCDI aims to improve the quality of life of small fishers on 24 selected coastal barangays surrounding the Burias Pass in Albay, Sorsogon, and Masbate by working with fisherfolk organizations and local governments toward better conservation measures in Burias Pass, reef rehabilitation, mangrove reforestation, and providing alternative livelihood to fisherfolks, which have the highest poverty incidence among the basic sectors.
“This project’s eco-tourism value is likewise recognized, with Burias Pass among the known migratory paths of whale sharks (Butanding),” it said.
Meanwhile, the Muyong Project by the Provincial Government of Ifugao seeks to enrich/reforest at least 405 hectares of land through a well laid-out agro-forestry plan and forest enrichment activities which, through peoples’ participation, are expected to provide additional livelihood source and income to about 2,500 farmers.