AMOMONTING, Castilla, Sorsogon—The Department of Agriculture-Bicol participated in the Launching of the Balik-Kalikasan Program of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-5) through a Tree-Planting and Serbisyo Caravan Para sa Masa on September 21, 2018 here together with Tsokolate at Pandesal (TAP) member-organizations.

According to DENR Assistant Regional Director for Technical Service Engr. Allan L. Luterio, the BKP is an opportunity to achieve an environment conducive to peaceful living, progressive community and safe environment. The said program was already launched in Bacacay, Albay and Basud, Camarines Norte.

A total of 2,879 seedlings of pili, rubber tree, cashew, cacao, kakawate and anahaw were planted in the five-hectare timberland along the slopes of the barangay.

According to BGen Greg T. Almerol, Commander of the 903rd BDE, 9ID of the Philippine Army, government and non-government offices that are members of the TAP provided free services to the locals of said barangay because of its distance to the main highway.

Aside from the distance, Barangay Captain Roderick M. Medes said that the residents need a good water system.

Castilla Mayor Atty. Joan L. Aquende lauded the full cooperation and participation of government agencies and NGOs. She added that convergence, inter-agency, inter-sectoral and inter-community activities will support their livelihood, peace and order and security issues.

Simultaneous with the tree-planting activity was the service caravan wherein basic government services including medical and dental services, feeding program, games, and distribution of schools supplies, medicines and information materials were extended to the residents of Barangay Amomoting.

DA-Bicol representative Florentino Ubalde said that aside from the tree-planting activity, the office distributed cacao seedlings, vegetable seeds and IEC materials.

Other participating government offices and NGOs include the Departments of Health (DOH), Science and Technology (DOST), Interior and Local Government (DILG), Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Agrarian Reform (DAR), and Labor and Employment (DOLE); all branches and bureaus of the Armed Forces of the Philippines; Team Albay Youth Organization (TAYO); Philippine Information Agency (PIA); National Food Authority (NFA); Commission on Population (PopCom);  bureaus of DENR; Bicol University (BU); Rotary Club Downtown Albay; and LGU-Castilla.

A boodle fight capped the one-day activity. (jaysonmgonzales)