Bangui, Ilocos Norte – Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy A. Cimatu witnessed the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement and Ceremonial Planting of the Sentinella Hill Eco-Cultural Park and Payac Agro-Forestry Plantation here in Bangui, Ilocos Norte. This is a convergence project of the Municipality of Bangui, DENR and Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation (MMPC) with a working budget of Php2.68M.

Sec. Roy A. Cimatu shared about this dream now becoming a reality in his hometown and thankful to MMPC of being an ardent partner of DENR in carrying-out its mandate on clean air as they initiated the donation of environment-friendly vehicles to the agency. With the launching of Sentinella Convergence project in this part of the country, the DENR Chief expects that the endemic trees will be promoted and eventually increasing a greater appreciation of the beauty of the environment and human nature. This partnership forged by the LGU and DENR is a manifestation of the government efforts in our goal to improve, conserve, protect and rehabilitate the environment. The Secretary also shared on what the DENR is doing in saving Boracay and he pledged to do everything to regain the name of Boracay as the world-famous island.

In welcoming the proponents of the said project, Mayor Fidel Cimatu Jr. hailed the civic spirited MMPC for being a fervent partner of DENR in the enhancement of the Sentinella Hill and the Payac Agroforestry Plantation.

Meanwhile, Regional Director Reynulfo A. Juan likewise expressed the same gratitude to the gesture of support of a multi-billion company like MMPC as this will definitely help the region in keeping up with the development in the countryside. RD Juan illustrated that this is a classic way of developing and preserving the ecological and cultural heritage of the country. This, according to him is another opportunity to trigger a continuous partnership with MMPC into more potential endeavor in the future.

The project is aimed at focusing on the promotion of the native species through assisted natural regeneration or enrichment planting by developing the biodiversity. It is also hoped that Sentinella Hill will be promoted as an eco-cultural tourist destination and eventually providing livelihood opportunities to the community. Situated at the heart of Poblacion, lies the Sentinella Hill which carries a historical significance to the residents of Bangui which according to folks, this hill used to be their watch tower during the time when the country was invaded by foes.