Katutubo backs DENR: Implement Social Protection

 Katutubobacks DENR: Implement Social Protection 


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.


Highlights of RED Gilbert C. Gonzales' Message during the DENR CALABARZON New Year's Call on January 6, 2020

Jan 23


             DENR CALABARZON Regional Executive Director Gilbert C. Gonzales begins his message by acknowledging the 2019 accomplishments of CALABARZON officials as he called the names of the Regional Directors for Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), Environment and Management Bureau (EMB), Assistant Regional Directors (ARDs) as well as the Division heads, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officers (PENROs), and Community Environment and Natural Resources Officers (CENROs) together with their Technical Services Division (TSD) and Management Services Division (MSD) Heads. He mentioned that most of the key officials had served the DENR for a longer period, thus, became experts and legends in accomplishing the targets of Region IV-A. Noting that all officials of CALABARZON are indeed responsible and dependable.


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