COTABATO CITY — The Integrated Bangsamoro Greening Program (IBGP) in Maguindanao undergoes final review and assessment for 2021 to ensure that the program stays on track and delivers the targets it set in terms of seedlings produced and plantations established, maintained, and protected.

The IBGP assessment held on 14 October 2021 was led by the Provincial ENRE Office of Maguindanao and participated in by different People’s Organizations (POs) contracted by the PENREO.

“This is to remind us that the IBGP is a program of the Bangsamoro Government through the MENRE to support our environmental advocacies and provide assistance to MILF-BIAF beneficiaries,” MENRE Deputy Minister Akmad Brahim said.

Deputy Brahim also noted the consequences of the deforested areas, such as flooding and loss of wildlife habitat.

“Let’s strive to promote and implement this program because this provides a lot of benefits to the environment and our people,” he added.

MENRE Chief of Staff Alindatu Pagayao added that in 2019, the IBGP began as a program of the MENRE. In 2020, the Bangsamoro Government released Executive Order No. 007, institutionalizing the IBGP in the entire region.

“There are about 170,000 open and denuded forests that need to be rehabilitated, and more or less 90,000 hectares of these are in Maguindanao,” COS Pagayao said.

Since November 2019, the MENRE, through the IBGP, has been able to produce 2.8 million seedlings and establish 4,090 hectares of plantation in Maguindanao. 37% of these hectares are already being maintained and protected.

These numbers are actualized, thanks to the support and efforts of the contracted Palaw Rangers and POs. In Maguindanao, a total of 29 POs have been in agreement with the Ministry to assist in the implementation of IBGP in their respective areas.

“In this review and assessment, we highly encourage honesty and integrity in consolidating our reports and crafting our ways forward to improve our performance,” the PENRE Officer of Maguindanao Lauban Abdul told the POs.

These beneficiaries and partners also underwent orientation and training on 1) apprehension, detection, and documentation of illegal logging activities; 2) forest fire management; 3) pest and disease prevention; 4) municipal nursery establishment; and 5) area development during the course of their IBGP journey.

Also attending the activity were Forest Management Services Director Abdul-Jalil Umngan, Chief of Planning Jessie Ondoy, and CENRE Officers Datumama Makartur and Noroden Abdullah.

The one-day review and assessment at Alnor Convention Center aimed to ensure the quality performance of the partners and efficient implementation of the greening program on the ground.