For what could be considered as an indication of interest and expression of support to a landmark environmental program, stakeholders from both government agencies and private organizations attended the Stakeholders Forum for the Dolefil initiated Silway-Klinan Rivers Watershed, Sarangani Bay Protected Seascape Ridge to Reef Program held on October 28, 2014 at the Convention Hall of the Dolores Farm and Resort, Polomolok, South Cotabato . Dole Philippines, Inc. , in coordination with Mahintana Foundation, Inc. has drawn together key players from the government sector (DENR XII, DepEd , Provincial Government of South Cotabato, Municipal and Barangay Local Government Units ), business groups and development organizations for the purpose of mobilizing private and public organizations to adopt the stretch of riverbanks and tributaries of the Silway-Klinan river systems and stretch of coastal communities along the Sarangani Bay for effective environmental governance.
Present during the forum to show support for the R2R Program were DENR XII Regional Executive Director Datu Tungko Saikol, PEMO-South Cotabato chief Siegfred Flaviano, Dolefil Managing Director Randolph Fleming, SB Members, department heads, barangay captains and barangay kagawads from partner LGUs (Gen. Santos , Polomolok, Tboli and Tupi), representatives from partner cooperatives and business establishments and development organizations.
Dolefil’s Director for Corporate Affairs, Atty. Melquiades L. Hernandez III said that this is a very ambitious undertaking, but the company is eager and excited to have started the ball rolling after realizing that there has been various interventions implemented to rehabilitate, protect and preserve the environment, many of these projects Dolefil has extended support or is presently supporting , and yet it is high time that these interventions be connected and harmonize in order to better appreciate, complement and evaluate the effectiveness of these interventions.
Mahintana’s Executive Director, Mr. Martiniano L. Magdolot presented the Project Rationale, stating that the Ridge to Reef is an old concept focused on interconnectedness. His presentation also included parts of a study on the climatic conditions within the watershed areas, accomplishments of past interventions and components of the program which will materialize the connection and complementarity of interventions. During the forum that ensued, representatives from business entities asked and were clarified on the various modalities on how they could be part of the program.