The Development Bank of the Philippines has cited the contributions of the Department of Agriculture (DA) in laying the groundwork for the planned establishment of a pioneering Philippine Native Tree Species seedbank in the country, a top official said.
DBP President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel G. Herbosa said DA’s technical assistance and expertise would ensure the proper and efficient conservation, propagation and cultivation of native trees and flora to boost restoration efforts of dwindling upland watersheds and forest covers in various parts of the country.
“We acknowledge and cite the continuing support of the DA, under the leadership of Secretary William Dar, with whom we share the same commitment and passion for ecological restoration and climate change mitigation while spawning economic opportunities through the creation of agri-enterprises,’’ Herbosa said.
The DBP Seedbank Project which would be jointly undertaken with DA attached agency, the Bureau of Plant Industry, shall provide start-up funding to duly accredited organizations for the collection of native seeds or wildlings with DA-BPI providing the site for the DBP seedbank nursery.
The Department of Agriculture, through Secretary William D. Dar, has further reinforced its assistance to the DBP Seedbank Project by providing P1-million to finance the maintenance and operations cost of the seedbank to be established in the DA-BPI compound in Bago Oshiro, Davao City.
The partnership on the DBP Seedbank Project was held on December 20, 2021 at the DA Central Office. DBP, to further uphold its commitment of protecting the environment, was led by no other than President and CEO Emmanuel G. Herbosa and members of the DBP Board of Directors, Dante V. Liban and champion of the DBP Seedbank Project Maria Lourdes A. Arcenas.
Arcenas said the bank will adopt a wholistic approach and partner with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources for the development of source centers for indigenous seeds and wildlings, and the conduct of capacity building initiatives for the communities that will participate in the project.
“In line with DBP’s advocacy as a bank for sustainable development, we have found an invaluable partner in DA with whom we share a commitment for food security in the context of environmental conservation and protection,” Arcenas said.
DBP Director and Head of the Bank’s Board-Level Development Advocacy Committee Dante V. Liban said DBP hopes to broaden its ties with DA covering initiatives on financial inclusion, agricultural productivity and efficiency, and food security.
“DBP’s projects with DA shall continue to serve as a proof of concept on how to effectively modernize and raise the competitiveness of the country’s agricultural sector amidst the threats of resource depletion and climate change globally,” Liban said.
Photo by Armando Bolislis