The Department of Environment and Natural Resources CALABARZON and the Local Government Unit of Pakil, Laguna entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the joint implementation of the Forest Land Use Plan (FLUP) last July 24, 2023, at the Sangguniang Bayan Hall, Pakil, Laguna.
The FLUP aims to protect the forestlands of the Municipality of Pakil, with emphasis on its open access areas, for the sustainable allocation and management of its forest and forest land resources.
Open access areas are areas that have yet been designated for certain purposes or covered by any tenure arrangements and are hence prone to exploitation and misuse. In the municipality of Pakil, 389.83 hectares of open access areas are subject to management and protection under the FLUP.
DENR CALABARZON Regional Executive Director Nilo B. Tamoria reiterated “Hindi magiging comprehensive ang land use plan kung wala pong component ng Forest Land- use Plan”. Under Executive Order No. 318 “Promoting Sustainable Forest Management in the Philippines”, LGUs shall incorporate FLUP in their Comprehensive Land Use Plans (CLUP).
The signing ceremony signifies the close coordination of DENR with local government units to systematically formulate action plans in the protection and management of the country’s forests. Tamoria ensured that LGUs, as primary implementers of the plan, are actively involved from the planning up to FLUP’s execution. He shared “Dumaan po tayo sa participatory na proseso batay po sa teknikal na kaalaman ng DENR at sa pagiging pamilyado ng lokal na pamahalaan sa bawat sulok ng kanilang teritoryo para maging responsive at makatulong sa kaunlaran ng ating bayan.”
Preparation of the FLUP started sometime in March of 2022, after which, it was jointly formulated into Plan by LGU which commenced a month after. In November 2022, the FLUP was affirmed by DENR CALABARZON, PENRO Laguna, LGU of Pakil, and members of the Regional Technical Working Group and was approved through Sangguniang Bayan Resolution No. 070, Series of 2023 “A Resolution Approving and Adopting the Forest Land Use Plan (FLUP) CY 2023-2032 of the Municipality of Pakil, Laguna” last March 20, 2023.
Meanwhile, Community Environment and Natural Resources Officer (CENRO) Venerando U. Garcia of CENRO Sta. Cruz shared that Pakil is eyed for its potential as a renewable energy hub of the province. Garcia mentioned “Ang bayan ng Pakil ay nag-e-emerge din na isa sa mga energy hub ng probinsya ng Laguna dahil na rin sa napipintong implementasyon ng dalawang malaking hydropower projects maging ang proposed na wind farm project na renewable sources of energy. These projects are environment-friendly dahil ito ay lubhang malinis kumpara sa coal-fired thermal plants lalo na yong mga petroleum-based energy sources. Gayumpaman ay meron pa ring dapat isa-alang alang na environmental considerations.”
RED Tamoria also stressed that Pakil being eyed as a renewable energy hub, would need the FLUP to efficiently and sustainably manage its resources. Tamoria uttered “Ang malaking bagay po para masustain natin ang hydroelectric energy ay ang tubig, at para masustain natin ang presensya ng tubig ay ang kagubatan. Kaya roon po pumapasok ang kahalagahan ng pagpaplano natin ng paggamit ng forest land”.
Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer (PENRO) Eriberto B. Saños of PENRO Laguna emphasized the importance of FLUP in ensuring that forest resource utilization will not put the environment at stake. He raised “Kung ito po ay maisasagawa at mababalanse natin ay makakamit natin ang sustainable development of our environment and natural resources”.
According to Mr. Ronald James V. Hidalgo, Municipal Administrator of Pakil, Laguna, as the representative of Mayor Vincent Soriano, the FLUP will provide a sound basis in the management of their forests. He extended their gratitude to DENR CALABARZON and its Field Offices for assisting them in the formulation of the FLUP. “Napakalaking bagay po ng planong ito para sa amin upang sa ganon ay maisaayos natin kung ano ang mga tamang programa at proyekto sa nasasakupang kabundukan ng bayan ng Pakil”, he said.
Ms. Mary Jane Veloso, SB Secretary relayed that Vice Mayor Vipops Charles Martinez supports the implementation of the FLUP. She said “Buo po ang suporta ng aming tanggapan sa anumang layunin at adhikain ng inyong kagawaran dahil nababatid po namin na ito ay para sa kabutihan at kapakinabangan ng lahat ng Pakileños”.
Out of the 23 municipalities of Laguna's third and fourth districts, Pakil is the 12th municipality to implement FLUP. ###