DENR Allocates Additional Funds for Forest Protection in Bicol Region

Photo caption: Forty six newly hired forest protection officers from Camarines Sur participated in the forest protection training on 14-16 November 2017 in Naga City.

DENR allocated an additional Php9.24 million for PENROs Camarines Sur, Albay and Masbate to intensify Forest Protection activities boosting the protection of about 51,500 hectares of forestlands in the Bicol Region. Of this amount, Php4.96 million was allocated for PENRO Camarines Sur for the hiring and training of 139 Forest Protection Officers (FPOs) from municipalities belonging to the 1 st and 2 nd districts of Camarines Sur.

Meanwhile, the remaining Php4.28 million was allocated for PENROs Albay and Masbate. The amount is likewise intended for the hiring and training of 378 FPOs. The release of additional funds will greatly contribute to the protection of significant biodiversity conservation areas like Bicol Natural Park, the only remaining lowland dipterocarp forest in Bicol; Cabusao Wetland Area, feeding and roosting areas of migratory birds in Camarines Sur; Mt Masaraga Watershed Forest Reserve and Mayon Volcano Natural Park in Albay and Tugbo Watershed Forest Reserve and Chico and Naro Wildlife Sanctuary in Masbate. The presence of Forest Protection Officers in these areas will also help prevent further occurrence of commonly observed threats like kaingin or slash and burn farming, timber poaching and charcoal-making. In order to equip the newly hired FPOs with adequate knowledge on the Forest and Biodiversity Protection System including forestry laws, rules and regulations, USAID’s B+WISER Program provided technical assistance to PENRO Camarines Sur during a three-day training workshop held in Naga City on 14-16 November 2017. Forty six FPOs from the municipalities of Del Gallego, Ragay, Lupi, Cabusao and Sipocot, Camarines Sur participated in the training. They will be assigned to patrol designated Forest Conservation Areas (FCAs) in these municipalities.