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Katatapuran Han Parag-uma Han Samar (KAPPAS)
« on: November 21, 2017, 03:48:32 PM »
KAPPAS ventures into pili plantation
Catbalogan, Samar (31 August 2005) -- A people's organization named Katatapuran Han Parag-uma Han Samar (KAPPAS) has changed for the better. Whereas before they were trapped into illegal timber operations, today, they have changed hearts. They have become vanguards of forest protection, so claims Danilo Miralles, chairman of KAPPAS.

One of the activities these days, is top venture into a vast pili plantation of 70 hectares from the mined out area in Bagacay by then Philippine Pyrite Inc. When asked why the group chose pili, Noel Pacampara, KAPPAS Project Manager explained that pili is the best choice for replenishment of denuded areas. Aside from its resilient quality, it could also provide resin, lumber and fruits.

Presently, the group is waiting for the delivery of some 12 thousands pili seedlings from Bicol. These seedlings, offered Miralles, deviates from the usual pili they could bear fruit within three to four years and they do not grow as tall as the pili of old. It would be easier to climb, says a woman-member half in jest.

Members of KAPPAS vowed to take special attention to the pili seedlings considering the amount spent for the purchase of the pili seedlings alone. Close to P400,000.00 have been drained here, said Nora Abalon, 34, another member. Presently, all farmer-members of KAPPAS are busy in the land preparation.

"We make sure it would thrive well and grow fruits because we have poured our resources here and it would be best if the pili trees will grow and yield bounty so that our efforts would be worth it," says Lucy Cajepo, 42, a woman-member of the people's organization.

KAPPAS Inc., a people's organization has 300 members in San Isidro, Tenani, Paranas, Samar. This organization, says Project Manager Noel Pacampara has members who are upland farmers organized by Tandaya Foundation in 1996 under the Community Forestry Program-CFP, a pilot upland project funded by the Foundation for Philippine Environment (FPE) and Katherin G. MacArthur Foundation. Its main objective is economic upliftment and stability through sustainable management and utilization of the resources.

Now on its 19th year (6 years as PO managed) of project implementation, KAPPAS now handle the 6500 hectares of forestland for the Community-Based Forest Management Program (CBFM). This was awarded to them by the DENR in February 15, 1999 with the components of forest rehabilitation; agroforestry; forest protection; alternative livelihood opportunities - that - is utilizing non-timber forest products like rattan, bariw and punit.

Miralles likewise disclosed that some 70% of the entire population of the two adjacent barangays of Tenani and San Isidro are members of the remaining 30% as non-members. When asked what the difference is, Miralles was quick to reply that the members have become aware and alert in forest protection while the non-members are still illegal logging game. "If and when they become members like us, they will have to give up their abuse of the resources and join force with us to fight raiders of the forest," said Miralles. (PIA-Samar)

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