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357 ha of land distributed to CL upland farmers

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Central Luzon announced yesterday the awarding of a total of 357 hectares of forest lands to upland farmers in Zambales and Nueva Ecija under the Community Based-Forest Management Program (CBFMP).

Central Luzon (GoogleMap)

Central Luzon (GoogleMap)

DENR Region 3 Director Francisco Milla, Jr. said the distribution of these parcels of land is part of the national government’s bid to reduce poverty in rural areas and promote social justice and equitable access to forest resources.

Milla said said the People’s Organizations (PO) of Palauig Green Planters Association Incorporated in the town of Palauig in Zambales with 106 ha of forestlands and the Digmala Tree Planters Association Incorporated in Gabaldon town in Nueva Ecija with 251 ha were awarded with a 25-year Community Based-Forest Management Agreement (CBFMA) and considered as the latest beneficiaries of the program 12 years after a moratorium was implemented in the issuance of CBFMA.

“The DENR is not giving land titles in forestlands only those alienable and disposable lands (A and D) such as agricultural land and residential areas are awarded with titles. However, tenurial instrument in the form of agreement is being awarded to upland farmers as proof of their legitimate occupancy over the forestland,” he explained.

He said that the new direction of DENR under the leadership of Secretary Regina Paz Lopez is to transform the department into more than a regulatory agency but also a development institution that will provide livelihood opportunities, brings social justice and empower upland communities especially the poorest among the poor.

He said at least 300 upland farmers from the two POs were expected to benefit from the program who are also actively involved in the National Greening Program (NGP) of the government.