Following reports of continuous intrusion of claimants at the Puguis Communal Forest, tighter security measures are being sought.
Municipal Environment and Natural Resource Office (Menro) Arthur Pedro recommends a 24-hour and seven- day tour of duty for forest rangers assisted by law enforcement agencies.
Pedro in his letter to La Trinidad Mayor Romeo Salda said forest rangers needs to be assisted by the Philippine National Police or Armed Forces of the Philippines personnel.
“Stronger proactive act from the municipal government should be done to safeguard the communal forest. “Iron fist” implementation of the law if necessary not against the claimant to respect their rights but against their illegal act.”
Salda said he has received the letter and is aware of the intrusions from different claimants.
Salda added they are planning to involve Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and other line agencies including Community Environment and Natural Resources Office, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office to discuss matters regarding the communal forest.
Joseph Luciano a part of the forest ranger team said they continue to monitor and patrol said there are still many land claimants for the area “There are still many, at least in my experience with approaching them they are presenting documents, certifications, they bought it from someone,” Luciano said.
Published in the SunStar Baguio newspaper on October 17, 2017.
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