02 October 2012

Foresters urged to be vigilant

Stressing the need to protect the remaining forests in the country, Society of Filipino Foresters, Inc. (SFFI) national council president Renato De Rueda urged fellow foresters to be vigilant in performing their duty as guardians of the environment.

De Rueda issued this challenge during the recent “National Summit Conference on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade”, which was held at the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center here to mark the 64th founding anniversary of the SFFI.

De Rueda said that forests need to be protected from the abusive exploitation of natural resources, because they can yield so much beneficial products if properly taken care of.

“Kailangan nating mapangalagaan ito laban sa mga gustong sumira ng ating mga kabundukan, kasama na dito ang illegal na pagto-troso at pagkuha ng iba’t-ibang produkto ng kagubatan, at pagkakaingin,” he said as he addressed convention delegates.

“Kailangan po natin ng mga mabubuting pamamaraan para mapangalagaan ang ating kagubatan,” he added.

At the same time, De Rueda noted that forest protection is often a very difficult and dangerous job, and has claimed the lives of several foresters since 2010.

“Mayroon na po tayong labing-apat na kamatayan dahil sa pagtatanggol sa ating kagubatan, sa pagseserbisyo sa ating bayan,” he said.

Still, it is the foresters who should lead the people in protecting the environment, he insisted.

“Kung mayroon pong dapat na manguna sa pangangalaga ng ating mga kagubatan, dapat ay tayong mga Filipino foresters. Kailangan po nating magkaisa para tulungan ang Inang Bayan sa pamamagitan ng epektibong pamamahala sa mga natitira pang mga kabundukan at para tulungang lumago ang ating mga kagubatan,” he said.

De Rueda said that towards this end, topics like forest law enforcement that were tackled in the convention would help foresters in performing their duties.

Meanwhile, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) senior deputy administrator Ramon Agregado thanked members of the SFFI for doing their job in protecting the environment, and assured them that the SBMA will do its part as well.

“From our end we can assure you that SBMA will continue to do more than its fair share in protecting, preserving and managing this heavily-forested paradise that is Subic Bay,” he said.

The SFFI was founded in 1948 and aims to represent and promote the science, technology, education, practice and business of forestry in the Philippines. It currently has 8,000 members from across the country. (FMD/MPD-SBMA)