The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has partnered anew with a Laguna-based Army reserve group to boost its reforestation and forest protection efforts in the CALABARZON region amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The 4th Regional Community Defense Group-Army Reserve Command (RCDG-ARESCOM) has renewed its partnership with the DENR-CALABARZON for the safekeeping of seized forest products and seedling replacements for trees affected by road widening projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

The 4th RCDG-ARESCOM once again offered a portion of the 10-hectare Camp General Macario Sakay in Los Baños town in Laguna province to serve as impounding facility for the DENR’s confiscated forest products, cut logs from DPWH road widening projects, and replacement seedlings.

Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu called the DENR-CALABARZON and 4th RCDG-ARESCOM alliance as a “brilliant move” as it helps the government save funds that would have otherwise been used in building a new storage facility.

“This partnership greatly benefits the government in terms of incurred savings since funds for building additional facility will no longer be needed,” Cimatu pointed out.

The memorandum of partnership (MOP) was signed by DENR-CALABARZON Regional Executive Director Nonito Tamayo and 4th RCDG-ARESCOM Group Commander Col. Romulo Satparam.

A similar MOP was entered into by the DENR-CALABARZON and the Army reserve group in February last year.

Tamayo expressed his gratitude to the 4th RCDG-ARESCOM for renewing its partnership with the DENR.

“This partnership will boost the efforts of the regional office in producing more replacement seedlings and confiscating logs from illegal traders because of the significant increase in area for storage,” Tamayo said.

Under the MOP, the DENR-CALABARZON will store replacement seedlings from cutting permits and seized illegal forest products to the designated depository area inside Camp General Macario Sakay, which is administered by the 4th RCDG-ARESCOM. The agency will also be in charge of regular maintenance, monitoring and inventory of said items.

The Army reserve group, on the other hand, shall designate and maintain a nursery shed for replacement seedlings and seized forest products. It would also provide assistance in the maintenance of these items, as well as support in terms of manpower and security to the mobile cleanup drive of the DENR regional office and the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office in the area of Laguna. #