KALIKASAN AT KAPALIGIRAN: Balikatan ng Pamahalaan at Mamamayan”

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This is the theme of this year’s information campaign in order to strengthen the forest protection and law enforcement in Region 1.

To date, the DENR- Forest Management Service has deputized a total of 248 members of the Philippine National Police to partner with the DENR to protect the remaining forests from all forms of destruction. (70 members from Ilocos Sur, 57 from Ilocos Norte, 52 from Pangasinan and 69 from La Union by Provincial Command/ designated from Municipal Police Stations)

According to Regional Executive Director Samuel Peñafiel, there are still good natural forest trees in the Region that we need to protect from unscrupulous forest poaching, illegal cutting or forest fires. In the province of Ilocos Norte, for example, a 3,234-hectare plantation of mainly Palosapis and Yakal are standing robustly in Nueva Era reforestation Project. This project was established way back in early 1930s by then Bureau of Forest Development. In Vintar, the Philippine Forest Development Project in Ilocos Norte (PFDPIN) of a total planted area of 13, 200 hectares was started in 1984 with indigenous species already growing under the canopy of Eucalyptus, Mahogany and Gmelina. Another 4, 237-hectare plantation is located in Tadao forest plantation, wherein not only indigenous species such as Eucalyptus camaldulensis and Gmelina arborea are planted, but wild pigs, hornbill and wild doves are spotted within the area. The newly established plantations under NGP need to be protected, says RED Peñafiel.

A series of trainings and seminars on law enforcement, rules and regulations are being conducted regularly by the Forest Management Service and Legal Division of DENR -1. OIC, RTD for Forestry Barbara Pernia also said they need the whole cooperation of the community as well as other entities to fully protect our forestlands. An intensive information, education and communication program is being implemented to stop all forest destructions. Forests are essential in mitigating the now experienced climate change not only in the Region but worldwide. (8.14.13)