The provincial government in Ifugao through the Ifugao Rice Terraces and Cultural Heritage Office (IRTCHO), together with farmers’ and non-government organizations, is now ready for the rehabilitation of the damaged portions of the rice terraces of Hungduan and Mayoyao towns.
BY JEREMY M. GAWONGNA
PIO-Ifugao / Northern Dispatch
Posted by Bulatlat
Vol. VIII, No. 26, August 3-9, 2008
LAGAWE, Ifugao —The provincial government here through the Ifugao Rice Terraces and Cultural Heritage Office (IRTCHO), together with farmers’ and non-government organizations, is now ready for the rehabilitation of the damaged portions of the rice terraces of Hungduan and Mayoyao towns.
Engr. Enrique Guinaat of IRTCHO said the rehabilitation of the damaged portions of Bangaan Rice Terraces was finished last year and a similar project is still ongoing at Batad, here, and in Nagacadan, Kiangan.
Guinaat said the productive status and aesthetic beauty of the rice terraces in Bangaan, Banaue, Ifugao were revived.
Guinaat maintained that to ensure the maintenance and durability of the restored rice terraces after the implementation of the said project, the provincial government and the farmers’ organization in the heritage sites entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for its implementation.
The MOA holds that the provincial government through IRTCHO shall provide expert advice, technical services and financial assistance for expert stonewall builders. It shall monitor the progress of the restoration activities.
The farmers’ organization shall hire stonewall builders to do the restoration of eroded rice terraces, participate in monitoring the progress of the work throughout the restoration activities and see to it that the process abides with the works’ programmed quantity and quality.
Ifugao Gov. Teddy Baguilat, Jr. pointed out that the rehabilitation of the damaged rice terraces is an effort to save these world heritage sites characterized by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as “living cultural landscapes.”
“Taking the rice terraces off the list of world heritage sites in danger is one of the main goals of the conservation and management of the Ifugao rice terraces,” Baguilat said.
Baguilat made it clear that aside from the rice terraces rehabilitation project, IRTCHO’s programs to achieve the objectives of the Rice Terraces Master Plan include the research on barangay (village) histories, land use and zoning, community-based reforestation, documentation and mainstreaming of various forms of indigenous knowledge.
“The Nurturing Indigenous Knowledge Experts (NIKE), an indigenous knowledge transmission project funded by the National Federation of UNESCO Associations in Japan (NFUAJ), is also currently being implemented,” Baguilat said.
Baguilat said further that in partnership with the Ifugao Research and Development Center (IRDC), an NGO focusing mainly on developmental researches, community dialogues on indigenous agricultural practices and climate change were conducted in selected barangays of Mayoyao, Hungduan, Hingyon and Tinoc.
These and other programs to save the Ifugao rice terraces are meant to preserve and enrich the interplay of the watershed, the rice terraces, people and culture all for sustainable development, Baguilat said. PIO-Ifugao / Northern Dispatch / Posted by (Bulatlat.com)