GRATEFUL LAND OWNERS. Land title beneficiaries from Oton, Tubungan and Btac. Nuevo gladly received their much-awaited land titles. The DENR 6–PENRO Iloilo in cooperation with the Local Government Unit of Oton distributed land titles during the conduct of People’s Day on December 19, 2016. Right photo shows USec Noel Felongco congratulates an old beneficiary before giving the land title. Right photo from left: Oton Vice Mayor Vincent Flores, USec Felongo, DENR 6 Regional Director Jim O Sampulna, Iloilo PENR Officer Raul L. Lorilla (partly hidden), Guimbal CENR Officer Salvador Manglinong, Jr.
Owning a piece of land gives one peace of mind.
A total of one hundred fourteen (114) land titles were recently distributed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) through its Iloilo Provincial ENR Office among the beneficiaries coming from the towns of Oton, Tubungan and Btac. Nuevo.
DENR Undersecretary Noel Felongco told the beneficiaries that a land title is a precious asset. In Mindanao where he came from, he witnessed firsthand how land has been a source of many conflicts. “War in Mindanao is about land conflicts,” he said.
USec Felongco also said that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte promised genuine change for our country during the campaign period and that his five main thrusts are: war on drugs, war on criminalities, war on corruption, war on poverty and campaign for federalism.
“We can focus on his thrust against poverty with this giving of land titles. This is an opportune time for us to see the program of President Duterte on how to fight poverty. One of the policies of the president is giving what is due for our people, and one of these is the giving of land titles to many of our poor people who have occupied the land,” Felongco said.
Out of the 114 land titles distributed by DENR–PENRO Iloilo, ninety eight (98) were residential free patents while sixteen (16) were agricultural land patents. The distribution of land titles was made possible through the conduct of People’s Day with the theme: Panagtag Titulo, Gugma sang Gobyerno Lokal sang Oton kag DENR para sa Ogtonganon. The activity was held on December 19, 2016 with the collaboration between DENR-PENRO Iloilo and LGU-Oton.
“Take good care of your land titles. Do not sell it to anyone for this is the inheritance you will pass on to the next generation of your families. Now, no one not even a mayor, could evict you from the land you are in possession of,” Mayor Carina Flores told the beneficiaries.
USec Felongco also highlighted the fact that the beneficiaries can thank DENR Secretary Gina Lopez for their land titles. “This is her advocacy – to give security of tenure to the people so that we can attain peace and with peace, we can thereby introduce development and progress for the country,” he said.
“The giving of land title is one of the priority programs of the government and the mandate to fast track it falls on our shoulders. Rightful land claimants can start the process of applying for a land title at their respective Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO),” said DENR 6 Regional Director Jim O Sampulna.
Wetlands, our defense against the dark days
A remaining wetland within the commercial area in Mandurriao district still hosts a variety of waterbirds such as common sand pipers, little ringed plovers, herons, terns, etc. (photos from ebonph.wordpress.com)
Wetlands are very important to human survival.
Wetlands are among the most productive ecosystems in the world. Thus, the destruction of wetlands is very alarming.
On February 2, 2017, one hundred sixty nine (169) parties from all over the world will be celebrating the annual World Wetlands Day with the theme “Wetlands for Disaster Risk Reduction.” This is in commemoration of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands or Ramsar Convention on February 2, 1971 in Ramsar City, Iran on the shores of Caspian Sea.
World Wetlands Day’s main purpose is to raise the people’s awareness of the values and benefits that wetlands can give to humanity. This observance also promotes the conservation and wise use of wetlands internationally. Above all, wetlands are our natural defense against disasters.
Wetlands are very essential in our environment. They control soil erosion, flood, ground water recharge and discharge, serve as kidneys to other ecosystems, habitats to rare species, tourist spots and can be a source of income. Wetlands aid in helping provide communities quick recovery against floods caused by storms, tsunamis and storm surges. Wetlands protect and improve water quality, store floodwater and maintain surface water flow during droughts.
The top five wetlands that help us lessen the impact of extreme weather events are Mangroves, Coral Reefs, Rivers and Flood Plains, Inland Deltas and Peatlands.
Presidential Proclamation No. 74 series of 1999 lets the Filipinos take part in the annual World Wetlands Day.
At the moment, the Philippines has seven (7) Ramsar sites, namely: Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat & Eco-Tourism Area (Manila), Naujan Lake National Park (Oriental Mindoro), Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park (Sulu Sea), Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (Palawan), Negros Occidental Coastal Wetlands Conservation Area (Negros Occidental), Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary (Cebu) and Agusan Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary (Agusan Del Sur).
In celebrating the World Wetlands Day 2017, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Region (DENR) in Region VI will be conducting the wetland clean-up and forum at Brgy. Gabuc, Pontevedra, Capiz to raise awareness and encourage local community involvement. The chosen site of the activity is being considered for possible application as wetland of international importance or Ramsar site.
World Wetlands Day is a chance given to us each year to be aware of how much our wetlands can do for us, of how much will be lost from us if we lose them.