Katutubo backs DENR: Implement Social Protection

 Katutubobacks DENR: Implement Social Protection 

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Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) CALABARZON Regional Director Arsenio Tanchuling calls for the development of social   protection programs for marginalized sectors in forestland and protected areas, during the Sierra Madre Summit held July 26-27, 2017.  

         Barangay Captain Rogelio Valencia of Pagsangahan, Quezon, whose constituents are mostly katutubo (indigenous peoples), agreed with Regional Director Arsenio Tanchuling of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) regarding his statement on implementing social protection programs for marginalized sectors, during the Sierra Madre Summit held on July 26-27, 2017 at the Hive Hotel and Convention Place, Quezon City.

         The event was a joint meeting of various stakeholders in Regions 2, 3 and 4A, which aimed to discuss the current status and issues within the Sierra Madre Mountain Range, and comprehensively plan appropriate actions to prevent the continuing environmental degradation in the area.

          Tanchuling, who represented the DENR CALABARZON Region, said the Protected Area Community-Based Resources Management Agreement (PACBRMA), an agreement between the DENR and the ‘tenured migrants’ within a protected area, have existing rules and regulations that aim to protect the rights of the people living in the said area.

         The tenured migrants are people within protected areas who have actually and continuously occupied such areas for five (5) years before the designation of the same as protected areas in accordance with the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) Act of 1992, and are solely dependent on the area for survival.

         During the open forum, Valencia, on behalf of his community residing inside a protected area covered by the Presidential Proclamation No. 1636, inquired about the corresponding actions of the DENR after implementing strict regulations on illegal logging and excessive kaingin system in such areas. He said they were afraid that a day would come when “everything” will be stolen from them.

         In his State of the Nation Address (SONA) last July 24, President Rodrigo Duterte stated that the communities living within those areas would be the very first to be affected, for their livelihood solely depends on the natural resources like rivers, watersheds and forests. Thus, he firmly stated that environmental protection ahead of mining is a priority and implemented policies should be non-negotiable.

        Accountable higher officials explained that they are doing the best they can to fast track the processes needed, and announced that there will be upcoming meetings per region wherein the concerned stakeholders will be invited.

         Moving forward, Valencia requested that they be hired as forest guards in their area instead of those individuals who live outside their land. He said his people may well help in furthering all the pro-environment works of the government, just as the case in Region 3 portion of the mountain range wherein illegal logging incidence decreased since the katutubo became the forest guards, as shared by Brother Martin Francisco, an advocate for the Sierra Madre.

         "There is no measuring how glad I am to have an event like this. We were able to directly tell them (officials of DENR and other government agencies) our positions, asked questions, and clarify their next steps and actions," said Valencia who endured two hours of walk and five-hour long bus travel with some of his co-participants to get to the summit. Their group were truly determined to deliver their message and get answers, he said.

News

DENR Calabarzon, on alert for Ompong

       

          Power outage and water disruption. These are the expected consequences of the onslaught of Typhoon Ompong, estimated to make a landfall on the northern portion of the Philippine islands in less than 24 hours.

          In preparation, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) is calling for volunteers to help.

          DENR Calabarzon Assistant Director for Technical Services, Arturo E. Fadriquela said the plan is to prepare their field personnel for two packaged services. The first package is to provide chainsaws with skilled operators and porters, and the second one is to deliver fully-charged generator sets.

          Fadriquela, the designated captain for the relief and rescue operations, said they will be in close coordination with the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) should their services be needed.

         “Kapag ang hiningi sa atin ay tumulong sa clearing ng area, ang gagawin lang pagpasok sa kalsada, may nakaharang (na puno) itabi, putol, itabi… Wala nang retrieval ‘yon, saka na ‘yon kasi mabilisan ‘yon e. Kailangan kasi ma-clear ‘yung daan para makapasok ang serbisyo, pagkain, tubig,” Fadriquela said.

          He also said they are looking into the possibility of providing go bags to the affected communities, and warm bodies to be of aid in other services. “Kung hindi naman apektado, maging available din ang mga tao natin kung saka-sakaling i-deploy sa mga repacking,” the assistant regional director said.

          “We would like to have an inventory of standby generators and water tanks that people can lend and we can mobilize in areas of greatest need so we are calling on people to let us know if they have one we can borrow” added DENR Calabarzon Director, Atty. Maria Paz G. Luna.

          With regard to the potential garbage accumulation, Luna said “we aim to have as close to a zero waste operation as possible because trash mounds in disaster areas turn into breeding places of pests and germs”.

          The relief and rescue operations are part of the Tayo ang Kalikasan program of the department.

          Willing volunteers may contact the DENR regional office through hotline numbers 09202068610 and 09553912684, email address This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or Facebook page @denr4aofficial.

          The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Service Administration (PAG-ASA) has raised public storm warning signal no. 1 for the entire region.

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