Reforesting public land in Cagayan de Oro gets Senate nod-A A +A
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
A BILL authorizing the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to reforest 3,000 hectares of public land in Cagayan de Oro City was approved on third and final reading in the Senate on Monday.
The approval came almost two years after the measure sponsored by Cagayan de Oro City Representative Rufus Rodriguez (2nd district), and Representative Maximo Rodriguez of Abante Mindanao (Abamin) party-list was passed by the House of Representatives.
House Bill 1398 reached the Senate on August 10, 2011, or four months before Tropical Storm "Sendong" (international name: Washi) dumped a month's worth of rain in the city that triggered a massive flashflood and killed hundreds of people.
Senator Francis Escudero, chairman of the committee on environment and natural resources, said reforestation will protect the city dwellers and the environment from flashfloods.
Funds for the program will be charged to the annual national budget with the DENR Secretary tasked to ensure its implementation, according to the bill.
Escudero said the recent typhoons that lashed Mindanao, particularly in Cagayan de Oro, are reasons for the urgent approval of the proposed legislation, which will undergo a bicameral conference committee for the creation of a single version.
The reconciled version must be adopted by Congress before sending it to Malacañang for enactment by President Benigno Aquino III. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)