DENR MIMAROPA Conducts Workshop and
Consultative Meeting on the
Unclassified Public Forests in Palawan
by: Karla S. Mangundayao
Attaining balance between conservation and sustainability of land resources in Palawan, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) MIMAROPA held a two-day workshop entitled “Proposed Classification of the Unclassified Public Forests (UPFs) in the Municipalities of Linapacan, Araceli, Dumaran, Cagayancillo, and San Vicente, all in the Province of Palawan” on January 29-30, 2016 and a Consultative Meeting with the former and current Representatives of the First District of Palawan on February 4, 2016. The said events were both conducted at the Bayview Park Hotel, Manila.
The activities were organized in consonance with the issued DENR Special Order No. 1160 dated December 29, 2015 creating a Technical Working Group (TWG) to assess and evaluate the subject UPF areas in the five municipalities of Palawan, with a pursuit to identify potential areas for classification as agricultural land (alienable and disposable) subject to the criteria set by Presidential Decree No.705 and other applicable laws, rules, and regulations. The members of the TWG include the DENR 4B Regional Office, PENRO Palawan, National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA), Forest Management Bureau (FMB), Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB), and DENR Central Office-Legal Services.
Prior to the said programs was the conduct of ground validation and assessment of the subject areas on January 17-23, 2016, in which the inputs were consolidated during the two-day workshop attended by five (5) site assessment teams which was composed of the members of the TWG and DENR PENRO Palawan staff. The result of the workshop was presented to the former and present Representatives of the First District of Palawan, Hon. Antonio Alvarez and Franz “Chicoy” Alvarez, respectively. The Regional Technical Evaluation Committee (RTEC) for Land Classification (created by virtue of Regional Special Order No. 57 dated January 4, 2016) convened after the meeting and conducted an in-depth technical evaluation of the report and draft DENR Administrative Order (DAO) for collation and incorporation of various recommendations.
The final output of the TWG and RTEC will be endorsed to the Honorable Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje through the NAMRIA after the technical descriptions of the proposed UPF areas are accurately determined. This will be followed by the finalization of the DAO declaring the proposed areas to be classified as agricultural land and forestlands. These accomplishments are envisioned to define the specific limits of agricultural land to attain ‘sustainability’ and of forestlands to achieve ‘conservation’ in the province of Palawan.