Coffee plantation eyed in Marikina

By Atom Araullo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 20 2012 04:25 PM | Updated as of Sep 21 2012 12:25 AM

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has allocated 200 hectares of the Upper Marikina River Basin Protected Landscape (UMRBPL) to be developed into a coffee plantation in partnership with the Marikina City government.

A memorandum of agreement (MOA) was signed today during the commemoration of tropical storm "Ondoy" which hit the country three years ago.

Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon Paje also turned over some 500 school desks made from "hot logs" confiscated by the DENR from illegal loggers.

A detailed geohazard map of Marikina was also given the city.

The planned coffee plantation is part of the government's National Greening Program (NGP) which also seeks to provide additional income to upland communities in the 8,600 hectares targeted for development throughout the country.

The DENR will provide coffee seedlings and technical assistance, while Local Government Units are expected to manage the area. The income from the plantations will allegedly be funneled to the local communities.

Paje says that aside from providing livelihood assistance, the coffee plantations in the upland areas will also reduce the amount of rainwater going to Marikina, also lessening the perennial flooding in the city.