Photos of officials in the sealing of partnership
DENR Chair Red Gwendolyn Bambalan speaking at the Build Back Better campaign of Cagayan River
DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu speaking at the Build Back Better campaign of Cagayan River
Consulttive meeting of Task Force BBB KRA 4 -restored sustainable livelihood
Officials at the consultative meeting for BBB

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and 19 other government agencies in Region 2 signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) institutionalizing the Build Back Better Task Force (BBBTF) on 6 February 2022 one year after the Cagayan River Rehabilitation Project was launched on 2 February 2021.

Last year, the multi-agency BBBTF began clearing sandbars at the Magapit Narrows and began the Bamboo seedling planting along the Cagayan River’s banks and tributaries to ensure not only its long-term viability but also the livelihood of all Cagayanos.

Carrying the mandate to protect, conserve, and manage the environment, the BBBTF came to life due to the need for stronger recovery efforts from naturally occurring and human-induced disasters.

DTI R2, as one of the partners of the BBB Task Force, leads the Key Result Area No. 4 (Restored Sustainable Livelihood) which aims to pursue livelihood programs such as community-based enterprise development (agroforestry and ecotourism) climate-resilient agriculture and fisheries. Together in this key result area are the following members: Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Agriculture (DA), DENR, Department of Energy (DOE), Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), and PCA.

DTI R2 is also a member agency in achieving strengthened governance through boardbased citizen input (KRA No. 5). The KRA aims to strengthen the institutional knowledge and expertise of local government units on disaster recovery and rehabilitation. The working group is expected to conduct activities towards improved land use planning and enforcement of building codes.

DENR Undersecretary Benito Antonio T. De Leon and DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu conveyed their speeches with the utmost appreciation for the significant support of the members for the rehabilitation of the magnificent Cagayan River.

“I would like to congratulate the whole of Region 2 in establishing the Regional BBB Task Force as a step which has served as a template for the other BBB areas. The same recognition, of course, goes to all members of the Regional BBB Task Force whose cooperation and support have substantially contributed to the attainment of the Build Back Better objectives,” said DENR Usec Antonio.

Following the signing of the MOU, six agencies from each KRA held a press conference to outline the government’s BBB initiatives’ accomplishments, interventions, and future activities.

The MOU was attended by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Regional Executive Director Gwendolyn Bambalan, Chair of the Regional Task Force; Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Regional Director Loreta Malaluan, Co-chair; Office of the Civil Defense Regional Director Leon DG Rafael Jr; Department of Human Settlement and Urban Development Regional Director Grace A. De Vera; Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Regional Director Leah Ocampo, represented by Assistant Regional Director Winston Singun; and DILG Regional Director Jonathan Paul M. Leusen Jr. 

The BBBTF KRA 4 (Restored Sustainable Livelihood), chaired by DTI R2, has convened its member agencies for a consultative meeting on 9 February 2022 with the communities and fisherfolks affected by the dredging operations being conducted in the Cagayan River, as part of the BBB activities.

This meeting aims to gather inputs from the BBB KRA-4-member agencies for the creation of a Social Development Plan for the affected communities in Aparri, Cagayan and will be presented to the affected fisherfolks for their alternative livelihood. ♦

Release Date: 9 February 2022