March 3, 2024

Barangay Poitan in Banaue, Ifugao is looking forward to the annual harvest festival this month, as they celebrate their first harvest after the successful productivity restoration of abandoned rice terraces in the area.
The restoration has been made possible through Punla, an environment initiative of renewable energy solutions provider SN Aboitiz Power-Magat (SNAP-Magat) in partnership with the municipalities of Hingyon, Mayoyao, Lagawe, and Banaue.
Punla, which stands for “partnership in uplifting upland natural resources, livelihood, and assets, began in 2018 and aimed to protect and restore the Upper Magat Watershed and bolster its surrounding communities.
The Banaue project leg is a three-year project covering the rehabilitation of 6.41 hectares of rice terraces at Barangay Poitan and reforestation of 48.44 has. in the same village, as well as in barangays Amganad and Balawis.
Around 4.4 hectares of the rice terraces, which have been unproductive for about five years, have been restored while restoration activities continue for the remaining area.
The project in Banaue broke ground on Feb. 6 and since then land preparation, including clearing and weeding, tilling, planting, and other maintenance activities have been done.
On top of the local government unit’s earmarked funds, SNAP provided P4.3 million of which P1.3M was already released.
For 2020, SNAP-Magat and Banaue targeted the rehabilitation of the abandoned rice terraces and reforestation of 2.41 hectares in Poitan while a reforestation project for 20.73 hectares is targeted in Barangay Balawis, Banaue in 2021.
“Much like its English term ‘seedling,’ Punla promises to grow even more. Hopefully, from this milestone will also come livelihood and enterprise development opportunities for communities within the watershed throughout the rest of the project’s implementation,” said Joseph S. Yu, SNAP-Magat president and chief executive officer.
Through cooperation and assistance from Banaue Mayor John Wesley Dulawan and Provincial Development Officer III Andres Ordillo, the SNAP Punla-Upper Magat Banaue project progresses into the year despite Covid-19’s current limitations.
Other project activities such as procurement of agricultural support equipment, rehabilitation of water supply systems, and more land preparation activities for reforestation are ongoing. – Press release