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Massive watershed eyed to ensure food security in Bicol

By Rosalita Manlangit

DAET, Camarines Norte --- Four towns in the province of Camarines Norte have been identified as the next watershed convergence area in Bicol, following Sorsogon.

The Talisay River Watershed has been chosen as the convergence area project, covering an area of 5,592 hectares and spanning the municipalities of Talisay, San Vicente, Vinzons, and Daet.

These areas are home to agricultural and residential lands that rely on the watershed resources for irrigation systems to sustain food production.

The implementation of the project will eventually benefit nearby communities, particularly those in the agricultural sector of the four towns.

The project is in line with the Administrative Order 01-2020 on the Strengthening Implementation Network of National Convergence Initiative (NCI) for Sustainable Rural Development, a joint act of the Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

The initial funds for the project were provided by the involved agencies, and the allocation of the budget will be from the NCI if the project is approved.

The identified areas were mutually agreed upon by the members of the Provincial Convergence Initiative-Technical Working Group (PCI-TWG) in its proposed Convergence Area Development Plan for 2024.

To legitimize the PCI-TWG, it has requested the issuance of an executive order of Governor Ricarte Padilla to allow the body to officially perform its functions for the implementation of the project.

The PCI-PTWG proposed composition will be the governor as the chairperson, with core members or chief of office of the DA, DAR, DENR, DILG, Department of Trade and Industry, and the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources.

Also included in the PCI-PTWG are the chief of the provincial and municipal departments of local government units like the Provincial Agriculture Office and Provincial Planning and Development Office along with the Municipal Agriculture Office from the four towns.

A municipal TWG will be organized for the said project. Earlier to this, the Regional Convergence Initiative TWG conducted an organizational meeting of the PCI-PTWG.

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