NORZAGARAY, Bulacan, Philippines—The reforestation of the denuded portions of the Ipo Dam watershed here may take 20 years as it would require the planting of at least 1.5 million tree seedlings.
Rodrigo Abinsay, watershed manager of Manila Water Co. Inc. (WMCI), the firm protecting and managing the Ipo Dam, said at least 25,000 trees were already planted in the watershed area.
The WMCI is the water concessionaire for the east zone of Metro Manila. It gets its supply from the Ipo Dam, which is located inside the 66,309-hectare Angat watershed reservation area.
Abinsay said they estimated that it would take about 20 years to rehabilitate the Ipo Dam watershed based on their experience in reviving the watershed of the smaller La Mesa Dam, which took 10 years.
He said the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), a private nonprofit foundation organized by the country’s business leaders, was behind the reforestation and rehabilitation of the La Mesa Dam through its “Save the La Mesa Watershed Project.”
He said the PBSP has pledged to replicate what they have done in La Mesa Dam to benefit the Ipo Dam.
He said volunteer groups participating in the project, which was launched through a tree-planting activity last year, agreed to adopt at least 2.5 ha each of the denuded area within the Ipo Dam watershed.
He said it was important to nurture the dam’s watershed and prevent illegal activities and encroachment there to ensure a stable supply of water to Metro Manila. Carmela Reyes, Inquirer Central Luzon