DENR taps IPs to help protect forest in Zambo Norte

By Teofilo Garcia, Jr.

January 13, 2022, 7:42 pm

ZAMBOANGA CITY – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has tapped indigenous peoples (IPs) to help protect the forest in the province of Zamboanga del Norte.

Dionisio Rago, chief of the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO)-Liloy, said Thursday they have strengthened the protection of the forest in coordination with the IPs, especially in the town of Godod.

Rago said they have also intensified information campaigns, together with the IPs, on the importance of forest protection.

Rago said the Godod is among the eight towns with a thickly forested area and falls under the jurisdiction of CENRO-Liloy.

Aside from Godod, the other towns covered by Rago’s office are Leon Postigo, Salug, Liloy, Tampilisan, Labason, Gutalac, and Kalawit.

“Godod is part and parcel of the ancestral domain of the Subanen,” Rago said.

Timuay (Chieftain) Florencia Gaas of Subanens in Godod said in an earlier interview they were assisting the CENRO-Liloy in protecting the forest, especially within their Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) area.

Gaas said villages in Godod town - Sianan, San Pedro, Bunawan, and Lomogon - are within the Subanens CADT areas.

Rago said the CADT of the Subanens covers 47,000 hectares straddling the towns of Godod, Leon Postigo, Sindangan, and Siayan in Zamboanga del Norte, and Midsalip in Zamboanga del Sur.

Meanwhile, Rago said they filed three cases of illegal logging against tree cutters last year.

He said the cases involved the illegal cutting of planted trees like mahogany, gemelina, and acacia. The cases are still for the decision of the court.

“They cut these planted trees without permission from our office which is required under the law,” he added. (PNA)