The Tiwi Watershed covering 17,661 hectares in the province of Albay, like any other watersheds in the country, is not spared from rampant practices of illegal logging, kaingin, charcoal making etc.It is in this premise that different programs/projects in relation to protecting and preserving the environment, particularly that of the watershed are being devised by the Tiwi Watershed Area Team (TWAT) to continuously promote awareness and shared responsibility among the communities within the reservation and other stakeholders as well.
Among the programs implemented is on the watershed rehabilitation and conservationthrough Reforestation and Agroforestry especially on the upland area where illegal practices are rampant. TWAT implemented the Reforestation of 430 hectares of open areas within the Tiwi Geothermal Reservation and currently implementing on the same through TKFPI, CAMADA, Inc. and BGFIS, inc.. The following are the on-going implementation of refo and Agroforestry projects:
- Plan 6 – Reforestation
On-going implementation of 40 hectares Reforestation project at Brgy. Lourdes, Tiwi, Albay under the 8th progress billing with recorded survival rate of 91.89%.
- Plan 7 – Reforestation
On-going implementation of 30 hectares Reforestation project at Brgy. Bariis, Tiwi, Albay under the 8th progress billing with recorded survival rate of 85.31%.
- Plan 8 – Agroforestry
On-going implementation of 10 hectares Agroforestry project at Brgy. Misibis, Tiwi, Albay under the 8th progress billing with recorded survival rate of 90.26%.
- Plan 8 - Reforestation
On-going implementation of 15 hectares Reforestation project at Brgy. Sugcad, Malinao, Albay under the 8th progress billing with recorded survival rate of 92.27%.
- Plan 9 – Reforestation
On-going implementation of 50 hectares Reforestation project at Brgy. Joroan, Tiwi, Albay under the 5th progress billing with recorded survival rate of 82.03%.
- Plan 10 – Reforestation
On-going implementation of 50 hectares Reforestation project at Sitio Tabgon, Brgy. Joroan, Tiwi, Albay under the 5th progress billing with recorded survival rate of 82.76%
For the seedling production and dispersal, a total of 350,000 seedlings are propagated in TWAT nursery. Then, Tree Growing activities are conducted annually in partnership with various stakeholders such as Aboitiz Power Renewables, Inc. (APRI), Academic Institutions, PGPC, BSP, LGU, PNP/AFP and DENR within the Tiwi Geothermal Reservation. Structural Erosions Control Measures are also implemented such as Riprap and Gabion projects located at Brgy. Sta. Elena, Malinao, Albay. Formation and training on the basic forest laws, rules and regulation for the 100 Bantay Watershed Task Force Volunteers (BWTF). Some BWTF volunteers were able to assist in the conduct of Patrolling and Manning of checkpoints together with TWAT personnel and elements of Tiwi and Malinao PNP. As a result of these operations, a total of 9,000 bd.ft of Forest products (Lumber, Timber, Wood, Charcoal), 13 units of conveyance (motorcycles, jeepneys, trucks) and 12 units of chainsaw were confiscated on different occasions while conducting said patrolling/manning of checkpoint.
As to the Community-based Watershed Protection Programs, Capability and Livelihood trainings are conducted to provide alternative source of income specifically to communities within the hot spot areas. Among the trainings provided were on the Production of Biomass Briquettes, currently the PO’s (San Bernardo Organic Farmers Organization and Tagoytoy Farmer’s Association) are awaiting for the turn-over of the briquetting machine and TWAT also conducted a training on Communal Fuel Wood Farming (Ipil-ipil) in which two (2) People’s Organization benefitted from the project and at the same time a plantation of ipil-ipil was established at Barangay San Bernardo through Tao Kalikasan Foundation, Inc. and will be turned over to San Bernardo Organic Farmers Organization after the One (1) year implementation of the project. A Training on Cacao and Pili processing was also conducted in which participants of the said training are already making profit out of the benefits/products from Cacao and Pili. Current market price for Pili sweets ranges from Php 100.00-120.00 per pack and processed Cacao priced at Php100.00-150.00 per pack. Another program implemented is the Community Development Project (Community Access to Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Development Project-CAPE-LDP) , the project was completed last May 2017 in partnership with LGU Tiwi and the Freedom for Rural Enterprise and Ecology Development of Mindanao (FREEDOM). Seven (7) Peoples Organization benefitted from the program namely Sararosa Kauswagan asin Pangkabuhayan (SKKAP), Dapdap Women Weavers Association (DWWA), United Stakeholders Working to Achieve Growth (USWAG), Samahang Magkakaragumoy (SAMAKA), Bagong Sikat Kami Naman (BSKN), Jonop Women Weavers Association (JOWWA) and Joroan Tribal Women’s Organization(JTWO) which was identified as an IP group. TWAT is also implementing the Animal/Livestock Dispersal which started year 2002, the program started from 14 piglets dispersed to pilot Barangays of Tiwi and Malinao Albay. It sustained since its conception and as of June 30, 2018 there are already 1,824 beneficiaries from Tiwi and Malinao including the surrounding communities of the reservation. As a continuing activity to the beneficiaries, TWAT provided technical support/assistance to enhance their skills in swine raising and the activity was in partnership with Univet Nutrition & Animal HealthCare Company (PIGROLAC) with resource person and training materials provided on the same.
For the Information Education & Communication Campaign, School Lectures and film showing were conducted yearly to selected elementary and high school students within the Tiwi Geothermal Reservation. Students in the identified primary and secondary schools to be educated on the importance of conserving the environment particularly the watershed and the adverse effects of destroying the same. Through lectures and film showing students are made to do a self-check with regards to their contribution to the slowly deteriorating mother earth and at the end make them realize what it is that they could contribute towards having a sustainable environment. The students gained knowledge on preserving and conserving the environment. They also gained the responsibility in taking care of the environment and to participate on activities concerning the environment’s protection and rehabilitation.