PANTABANGAN, Nueva Ecija – The PHP32-million bridge constructed for stepped-up watershed rehabilitation efforts in this town and in the neighboring municipality of Carranglan is now open to the public.
Paquito Moreno Jr., regional director of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Central Luzon, said on Monday the 80-meter long Barat Bridge is essential for the rehabilitation of the 44,000-hectare Pantabangan-Carranglan Watershed (PCW).
The reinforced concrete bridge was built through a collaboration between their agency and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), he noted.
Situated across the Barat River in Sitio Kanlungan, the bridge was funded by JICA as an agroforestry support facility to the 10-year Forest Land Management Project in the PCW, Moreno said in an official social media post.
The DENR said the bridge will also benefit about 1,207 households and upland farmers through better access to farm produce from agroforestry areas in the watershed.
Barat Bridge is the third major agroforestry support facility funded by JICA in two years after the 60-meter long bridge in Sitio Pamalayan in Barangay Conversion, this town and the 55-meter long Calaocan hanging bridge in Burgos village in Carranglan.
Launched in 2012, the forest management project has already rehabilitated more than 14,000 hectares of denuded forest lands in the PCW through collaborative and comprehensive community-based forest management strategies. (PNA)