FOUR municipalities in Western Visayas secured the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-6’s nod for their respective Forest Land Use Plans (FLUPs).
The towns that completed their FLUPs are Dingle and Balasan in Iloilo province and Cuartero and Jamindan in Capiz province.
The DENR approved the plans on June 3, 2019.
The FLUP Implementation Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was also signed on the same day at the Activity Center of DENR-6 regional office.
The MOA will now serve as the final document for the legitimization of FLUP after undergoing the processes required by DENR.
The signing also kick-starts the LGUs’ pursuit to sustainably manage forest resources and further finalizes DENR’s partnership in forest protection, development and management.
The signing of the FLUP’s Implementation MOA is a symbol of the partnership between DENR-6 and the respective local government units to co-manage the forests and forestland resources in order to attain sustainable development for the benefit of the people.
DENR 6 Regional Executive Director Francisco E. Milla, Jr. underscored the need to balance economic development with environmental protection.
“These FLUPs will serve as a guide for the local officials in their decision making,” he said.
“The FLUP should be part of your Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP), and while other local government units allotted only a page for the FLUP in their CLUPs, you have one whole book FLUP,” he added.
Milla said LGUs can also take cue from Boracay Island’s rehabilitation.
“Because of imbalance of priorities, many things were not planned. On the beach easement, there are structures that were taken out. Permanent structures were also built on forestlands and wetlands because many workers stay in boarding houses and no longer return to their homes,” he said.
Officials of the four LGUs – Vice Mayor Jimmy C. Quicoy of Dingle and Mayors Manuel Ganzon of Balasan, Mac Arthur Valdemar of Jamindan and Tito Mayo of Cuartero – thanked DENR-6 for helping craf their respective FLUPs.
The FLUP is a planning tool that equips LGUs, DENR, and other stakeholders to comprehensively map out future economic progress of an area in the context of sustainable forest management, biodiversity management, climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction and management and forest degradation.
The FLUP also addresses the nine priority programs of DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu:
- Clean Air,
- Clean Water;
- Solid Waste Management;
- Geohazard, Groundwater Assessment and Responsible Mining;
- National Greening Program;
- Intensified Forest Protection and Anti-illegal Logging;
- Enhanced Biodiversity Conservation;
- Scaling Up Coastal and Marine Ecosystems; and
- Improved Land Administration and Management. The tenth priority is focused on Manila Bay Cleanup. (DENR-6)