Forestry under the Spanish Regime
The "Inspeccion General de Montes"
was created pursuant to a Spanish Royal Decree. It was the first
Forestry Service in the Philippines whose function was to determine,
through data collection, the extent of the country's forest resources
and oversee their proper utilization.
September 3, 1863
The Forestry Service was allowed by the Superior Civil Government
to intervene in all matters pertaining to cutting, extracting
timber, resins, etc. and to open up virgin lands to give concessions
over mountain lands and transact business related to lands and
May 3, 1866
The Forestry Service was directed to conduct reconnaissance survey
to the country's forest lands to determine the suitability of
the timber for civil and naval purpose, find out the actual condition
of the forest, check and prevent trespass and unauthorized encroachment
into the forest and prevent illegal cutting of timber. The government
prescribed a kind of permit and cutting rules including forest
demarcation and limitation. No permit, however, was required to
cut timber for personal use.
The government authorized the free use of timber under the gratuitous
June 8, 1874
Kaingin making was first banned and prohibited inside forest lands.
July 13, 1874
A decree was promulgated making it a crime to cut any timber for
commercial purposes in left over deforested areas of Cebu and
Bohol; however, free use privilege for domestic use was allowed.
November 13, 1894
The Royal Decree promulgated in Spain approved the definite Forest
Laws and Regulations for the Philippine Forest Service, which
was drafted by "Ministro de Ultimar". The regulations contained
138 articles under nine titles.
Forestry under the American Regime
April 14, 1900
The U.S. Military Governor in the Philippines issued General Order
No. 50, renaming "Inspeccion" into Forestry Bureau. Captain George
P. Ahern, of the 96th U.S. Infantry, was named as its first Director.
June 27, 1900
The first Forest Legislation was enacted by the United States
Government in the Philippine Islands. The principal purposes of
the said order were to regulate the cutting, transportation and
payment of forest charges on forest products from public forest
and that timber cut for personal use be free of charge must be
cut under license secured by means of certificate from Municipal
September 6, 1901
The Philippine Commission passed Act No. 222, creating the Department
of Interior and placing the Forestry Bureau, which was changed
to Bureau of Forestry, under this department.
May 7, 1904
The Forest Act was enacted containing, among others, the Philippine
Forest Policy which was the basis of all forestry operations until
May 19, 1975, when the same expanded and made
The supervision of the Bureau of Forestry was transferred from
the Department of Interior to the Department of Agriculture and
Natural Resources. The Bureau found itself extensively involved
in various activities, including the classification of the public
domain, granting and regulating operation of licenses, measurements
of forest products, implementation of national system of forest
management, forest protection, and conservation of wildlife, some
hardwood species, fruit trees, bushes, and some wildflowers.
January 1, 1937
Forester Florencio R. Tamesis was appointed Director of Bureau
of Forestry, thus signaling the Filipinization of the country's
June 8, 1939
Jurisdiction by the Bureau of Forestry over pasture areas and
grazing lands was provided under Commonwealth Act No. 452.
Forestry during the Japanese Occupation
January 30, 1942
By virtue of Administrative Order No. 1 approved by the Commander-in-Chief
of the Imperial Forces in the Philippines, the office became Bureau
of Forestry and Fishery under the Ministry of Agriculture and
December 24, 1943
The Republic of the Philippines under the Japanese Regime promulgated
Act No. 13 prohibiting the cutting of trees within public or private
lands where spring is existing which maybe used for irrigation
or for water supply purposes.
February 23, 1944
Act No. 42 was enacted limiting the maximum areas to be devoted
to pasture and reforestation or tree plantations to 2,000 hectares.
Forestry Service After the Second World War up to the present
April 24, 1945
The Bureau of Forestry was reconstituted with five (5) divisions
and 44 district offices. The responsibilities of the Bureau soon
expanded requiring the creation of additional functional divisions
and units in the central office and in the field.
November 1, 1945
The 13th Special Session of the 5th Congress of the Philippines
under the Commonwealth Government enacted C.A. No. 720 extending
the time for performing or complying any term, condition or stipulation
involving public lands, forests and mineral concessions existing
in 1942 which could not be performed by reason of the war.
July 20, 1953
By July 20, 1953virtue of RA No. 826, the Parks and Wildlife Commission
was created with primary function of administering and maintaining
of National Parks and conserving wildlife.
The Reorganization Plan No. 77 was implemented resulting in the
creation of the Forest Products Institute from the merger of the
Forest Products laboratory, which started as a division of the
Bureau of Forestry, and the Forest Products Section of the Forest
Investigation Division of the Bureau of Forestry. The said institute
was attached to the University of the Philippines for policy coordination
June 18, 1960
Republic Act No. 2706 was enacted creating the Reforestation Administration
which was tasked to reforest and afforest bare and denuded forest
lands especially critical watersheds.
November 1, 1972
The Bureau of Forestry, the Parks and Wildlife Office and the
Reforestation Administration were merged by virtue of Presidential
Decree No. 1, resulting in the creation of the Bureau of Forest
December 18, 1974
With the Forest Research Division of the Bureau of Forest Development
as a nucleus, the Forest Research Institute (FORI) was created
by virtue of PD No. 607. (It is now superceded by EO 192 that
abolished FORI and created the Ecosystems Research and Development
May 19, 1975
Presidential Decree No. 705 revising PD 389 (otherwise known as
the "Forestry Reform Code of the Philippines") was issued formally
organizing the Bureau of Forest Development (BFD). The BFD was
a result of a merger of the Bureau of Forestry, Parks and Wildlife
Office, Reforestation Administration and the Southern Cebu Reforestation
July 10, 1985
Executive Order No. 1039 created the Wood Industry Development
Authority (WIDA) which was responsible for the regulation, control,
supervision and development of wood industry of the Philippines
in all aspects. WIDA absorbed the functions of the Presidential
Committee on Wood Industry Development and all the functions and
powers of the BFD pertaining to forest utilization.
June 20, 1986
Ministry Administrative Order No. 8, Series of 1986 was issued
by the then Minister Maceda in order to effectively arrest the
denudation of our forests and to stop illegal logging and log
scale log smuggling.
June 10, 1987
Executive Order No. 192 known as the Reorganization Act of the
DENR created, among others, the Forest Management Bureau which
integrated and absorbed the powers and functions of the Bureau
of Forest Development (BFD) and the Wood Industry Development
Authority (WIDA) except those line functions and powers which
were transferred to the Regional Field Offices.
The Parks and Wildlife Division and the Marine Parks Program
of the Bureau of Forest Development was absorbed by the newly
created Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau.
Likewise, the Land Classification Teams of the Bureau of Forest
Development was integrated to the National Mapping and Resource
Information Authority an attached agency of the DENR.
March 17, 1989
A nationwide ban on lumber export was imposed by the then Secretary
Factoran through the issuance of DENR Administrative Order No. 89-19
June 30, 1990
The Master Plan for Forestry Development was prepared to guide the
long-term development of the forestry sector in the Philippines.
October 29, 1991.
The Republic Act No. 7161 was enacted, "An act incorporating sections
of National Internal Revenue Code of 1977, as amended, to PD 705
as amended, otherwise known as "The Revised Forestry Code of the
Philippines", and providing amendments thereto by increasing the
Forest Charges on Timber and other Forest Products.
February 3, 1992
On June 1, Republic Act No. 7586, an "Act providing for the establishment
and management of National Integrated Protected Areas System, defining
its scope and coverage, and other purposes, known as the NIPAS Act
of 1992 " came into reality.
July 19, 1995
Executive Order No. 263 was enacted, Adopting Community-based Forest
Management as the National Strategy to ensure the sustainable development
of the country's forestland resources and providing mechanisms for
October 29, 1997
Republic Act No. 8371 was enacted, An Act to recognize, protect
and promote the rights of indigenous cultural communities/indigenous
peoples, creating a national commission on indigenous peoples, establishing
implementing mechanisms, appropriating funds therefore.