Trust, focus, and mutuality toward protecting, conserving, and sustainably managing the country’s environment and natural resources are the driving forces that guided the Department of Environment and Natural Resources together with the Development Bank of the Philippines to a renewed partnership (SDG 17: Partnerships to Achieve the Goal). On August 5, 2019, a momentous event was marked when the two agencies signed the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on the DBP’s Tree Plantation Financing Program (TPFP).
DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu and DBP President and CEO Emmanuel G. Herbosa inked the partnership, witnessed by DBP’s Executive Vice President Jose Gabino D. Dimayuga and other DBP key officials, DENR Undersecretaries, Assistant Secretaries, and members of the Forest Management Bureau Expanded Executive Committee headed by the FMB Director represented by Assistant Director Edna D. Nuestro. The partnership, through the Tree Financing Plantation Program, aims to hasten economic development, promote environmental stability, and enhance climate change mitigation and adaptation (SDG 13: Climate Action). It shall facilitate an investment friendly environment and encourage public and private sector participation which shall eventually boost Philippine wood-based industry, and help meet the demands for forest and forest-based products and services.
The said Financing Program intends to aid in the development and maintenance of existing tree plantations, assist communities and tree growers to improve economic conditions, and further address deforestation and reduce susceptibility of communities to natural disasters. The DENR shall extend technical assistance to the proponent in mapping, general assessment of the proposed area, facilitate coordination with stakeholders and other support services within the DENR’s mandate for effective and smooth implementation of the TPFP. DENR shall also provide technical evaluation of project proposals taking into consideration forestry science and sustainable forest management, and thereafter endorse eligible projects for possible financing to DBP. In the MOA, the DBP has committed to provide credit assistance for the development, maintenance, protection and expansion of existing tree plantations, including harvesting and processing of produce. DBP will also provide counseling on financial literacy to qualified borrowers.
Both the DENR and DBP yearns to have a fruitful collaboration which would lead to policy reforms, systems and procedures improvement, institutional and organizational development with the end-view of revitalizing forestry investments in the Philippines.