The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has sealed its approval of the Forest Land Use Plans (FLUPs) of seven municipalities in Western Visayas. It has recently facilitated the activity dubbed as FLUP Review and Approval and Signing of the Implementation Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).

Although it was a face-to-face activity, it strictly limited the participants coming from the seven different municipalities in order to observe social distancing. It was a 3-day event and participants come by batches for their scheduled FLUP review and approval and signing of their Implementation MOA.

The DENRin Region 6 have identified the local government units of San Remegio, Bugasong and Culasi in Antique;Malinao, Madalag and Ibajay in Aklan; and Tapaz in Capiz as having completed their respective FLUPs.

Regional Executive Director Livino B. Duran personally led the activity together with Assistant Regional Director for Technical Services, Raul L.  Lorilla, Conservation and Development Division Chief Danilo L. Lorilla and Attorney III of Legal Division Francis Glenn Arceta.

The first day of the event was attended by the delegation coming from Antique and Capiz. Present were municipal mayors, namely: Hon. Margarito C. Mission, Jr. of San Remigio and Hon. John Lloyd M. Pacete of Bugasong, both in the province of Antique; and Hon. Roberto O. Palomar of Tapaz, Capiz.

Also in attendance were DENR 6 field officials, namely: Provincial ENR Officer of Antique, Andres T. Untal, Community ENR Officer of Belison, Louie L. Laud, PENR Officer Joel L. Navarra of Capiz, and CENR Officer Gregoria D. Alenaje of Mambusao who stood as witness during the MOA signing. 

During the 2nd day, representatives from the municipality of Culasi, Antique led by Mayor Jose Jeffrey Y. Lomugdang together with SB members Ariel T. Dy Buco and July T. Dimacutac, presented their FLUP. From the municipality of Ibajay, Aklan, present during their FLUP presentation were SB members Nestor Francisco Inocencio, Audinnei Aguirre, HRMO Airen S. Alag, MENRO Ariel M. Alag and staff.

On the last day of the activity, Aklan province representatives from the municipality of Madalag presented their FLUP. The team was led by Mayor Alfonso A. Gubatina with Eudes R. Torres, SB for Environment, Engr. Hannibal Cometa, SB Secretary, MENRO Adonis Nazareta, PDA Eric Nacor and MPDC Staff Bryle Martinez. For the municipality of Malinao, it was led by Mayor Josephine Equiña together with SB Member Gregorio Imperial, Jr., MDRRMO Niño Carmelo Carmen and MENRO Angelyn Ingeniero.

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 Implementation MOA is the final document to complete the process of FLUP preparation prior to its implementation. It also serves as a symbol of partnership between the DENR and the local government units to co-manage the forest and forestland resources of the town to ensure sustainable development for the benefit of the people.

The seven municipalities’ local chief executives and representatives expressed their heartfelt gratitude to DENR 6 for providing them with technical support that enabled them to craft their respective FLUPs. At the same time, it is an assurance of the good partnership between the Department and their respective municipalities in terms of environmental protection and conservation./DENR 6