A joint agreement was reached between the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 12 and the Provincial League of Environment and Natural Resources Officers (PLENNRO) – South Cotabato on the mechanics of the implementation of the Urban Greening Program (UGP), a program under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources that is being implemented by local government units (LGUs) nationwide.
Issues on UGP implementation between the 2 parties stemmed when DPWH uprooted newly-planted ornamental trees planted by PLLENRO particularly in Polomolok and Tupi.
According to DPWH, the trees planted are located along their road expansion area which caused them to remove it, which dismayed PLLENRO because they were not informed about it.
With the said meeting, DPWH and PLLENRO harmonize their respective policy and came out with an agreement that only the use of removable pots/plant boxes/culverts and shrub-type ornamental/flowering plants will be allowed.
In attendance during the meeting were Governor Daisy Avance Funtes, DPWH representatives and PLLENRO officers and members.
Further to the agreement, PLLENRO will also send a letter to the DPWH Secretary thru DPWH 12 requesting for reconsideration on the road beautification of the 1st and 2nd districts of South Cotabato.
Up for considerations are the planting of ornamental plants within 20 meters from the centerline of the highway from Polomolok to Tantangan; planting of ornamental plants within 15 meters from the centerline of the highway in the Upper Valley Areas; installation of tourism way finder of the Provincial Tourism Office, with the design and location attached in the letter.
PLLENRO is the contractor of UGP and started its full implementation last year but due to the El Nino phenomenon that hit the province this year, some LGUs were not able to reach their target.
They plan to continue the program implementation this year until they reach their total target or number of ornamental or flowering shrubs planted along the national highway located in their respective LGU.