The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Jaime V. Ongpin Foundation, Inc. (JVOFI) have signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the restoration and rehabilitation of mangroves in Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte that was severely affected by typhoon Odette in December 2021.
In a MOA signing on March 15, DENR Acting Secretary Jim O. Sampulna and JVOFI president Reinaldo A. Bautista Jr. agreed to conduct a three-year post-disaster restoration and rehabilitation of 143 hectares of mangrove on Siargao Island.
The JVOFI will provide P10 million to cover the cost of restoration and rehabilitation of storm-damaged mangroves, particularly in the municipalities of Del Carmen, Dapa, General Luna, San Benito, and Socorro in the province of Surigao del Norte, and for the implementation of solid waste management activities in the island.
Meanwhile, DENR-Region 13 (CARAGA) together with the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) in Surigao del Norte and Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) in Dapa will serve as project implementers.
They will conduct the identification and delineation of the 143-hectare mangrove site and determine the mode of plantation establishment, protection, and maintenance.
Sampulna lauded JVOFI for financing the mangrove restoration and rehabilitation project.
Typhoon Odette which hit the island in December ravaged its agriculture, infrastructure, and environment, and damaged more than a hundred hectares of mangroves planted through the National Greening Program. 
The environment chief assured that the DENR, specifically its field offices in Region 13, will work hard for the successful project implementation in Siargao.
“The partnership recognizes the importance of addressing climate change and the sense of urgency to act now. We need our mangroves more than ever,” Sampulna emphasized.
For his part, JVOFI President Bautista said “This is just the beginning of our continuing partnership. We are thankful to be a part of this initiative and to be able to serve our communities.”  
The event was attended by DENR Undersecretary for Policy, Planning and International Affairs Jonas R. Leones, DENR-Foreign Assisted and Special Projects Service (FASPS) Assistant Director Maria Sabrina Cruz, Project Preparation Division Chief Conrado Bravante Jr., Region 13 Executive Director Nonito Tamayo, Environmental Management Bureau-Region 13 Director Albert Arcamo, and Surigao del Norte PENRO Alejandra Boiser.
JVOFI executive director Ma. Rosario Lopez, and EMBRACE program representatives Arnaldo Carino, and Christine dela Cruz were also present during MOA signing at the DENR Central Office in Quezon City.
JVOFI is a non-government organization that ensures the promotion of conservation, protection and rational management, and utilization of critical ecological resources in the country.
Siargao Island is home to hundreds of flora and fauna species, with a highly diverse mangrove forest, accounting for 19 out of 54 known mangrove species in the world. In 2019, the Del Carmen Mangrove Site was awarded the Para El Mar Best Mangrove Award in the Philippines by the Marine Protected Areas Support Network. ###