The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) CALABARZON and Municipal Government of Pakil, Laguna signed an agreement on April 19, 2022 for the preparation of a Forest Land Use Plan (FLUP) for the said municipality.
Per duly signed Memorandum of Agreement, the proposed FLUP aims to strengthen the capacities of interested LGUs in addressing the threats to its forests and forest land resources. “Kayo po dito sa Pakil ang nakakaalam ng mga problema. Kami po sa national, tutulong po kami. Aayusin natin ito,” DENR CALABARZON Assistant Regional Director for Technical Services, Alfredo Palencia said, pledging the department’s full support by providing technical assistance, among others, to the LGU which will be the main actor in the process.
DENR-Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer (PENRO) of Laguna, Eriberto Saños said the preparation of FLUP is in accordance with Republic Act No. 7160. “Ito po ay sang-ayon sa itinakda ng ating batas, unang-una, ‘yung Local Government Code na sharing the responsibility in the protection, conservation and management ng environment and natural resources,” he explained.
“Napakahalaga po na tayo ay mag-formulate ng FLUP pero ito pong FLUP ay dapat i-incorporate natin sa Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) para ma-ensure ‘yung implementation, he added. Executive Order No. 318 “Promoting Sustainable Forest Management in the Philippines” mandated the LGUs to incorporate FLUPs into their CLUPs.
DENR-Community Environment and Natural Resources Officer (CENRO) of Santa Cruz, Laguna, Venerando Garcia said the preparation of an FLUP is a participatory process which requires the participation of the different stakeholders. “Participatory ang proseso, mahalaga po na mahiyakat natin ang partisipasyon ng stakeholders ng municipality lalo na sa lugar ng forest and forestland areas,” he said.
Garcia said one of the most important steps in the planning process is the identification of the open access areas including the corresponding management interventions. “Kapag po kasi open access ang isang area, ito po ay napapasok ng mga may interes na i-utilize ang mga resources na maaaring hindi po magiging maganda para sa ating pinaka-management ng natitirang resources dito sa bayan ng Pakil,” he explained.
Saños said Pakil, Laguna has more or less 5,000 hectares of land, 883 hectares of which are classified as forestland.
Palencia laid down the importance of planning for the remaining forestlands of Pakil. “Ang ating tinitignan dito, hindi lang pansarili kundi ang future. Ngayon, maligaya tayo, sagana sa tubig, sagana sa benefits ng environmental services na ibinibigay ng ating kagubatan pero kapag hindi natin mapapamahalaan ng maayos ay masisira,” he said. He emphasized that the bountiful Turumba spring in Pakil would be greatly affected if the forests in the area would not be conserved and protected.
“Ang tubig ay iniimbak ng ating kagubatan at dahan-dahan niyang idinadaloy dito sa lowland. At kung wala na ang ating kagubatan, natural flashlood, landslide o erosion ang aabutin kagaya ng nangyari dito sa Leyte,” Palencia added, citing the recent catastrophe that happened in Leyte due to Tropical Storm Agaton.
“Malinis na tubig, malinis na hangin, kaaya-ayang kapaligiran, iyan ang gusto nating mangyari sa bayan ng Pakil. Hindi natin iyon maa-attain kung hindi natin gagawing sustainable ang pangangalaga ng kapaligiran lalong lalo na ng ating forest and forest resources,” he stressed.
While planning process is an important first step, Saños emphasized that the following steps such as the adoption and actual implementation of the plan are also vital.
Garcia said of the 23 municipalities within the third and fourth districts of Laguna, only four have no FLUP. He said Pakil and Mabitac are targets for FLUP preparation this year.###