THE DEPARTMENT of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is set to work with the Municipality of La Trinidad to intervene in squatting inside the Puguis Communal Forest.

A technical conference is slated with representatives of the DENR on November 16 to resolve the alleged land grabbing issue inside the 9.5 hectares communal forests despite opposition raised by Barangay Puguis and the municipal government.

“We personally appeared before the office of the Secretary, asking for their support to safeguard the 9.5 hectares of the Puguis Communal Forest which was supposed to be added from the 48 hectares existing forest reserve,” Councilor Nestor Fongwan Jr. said.

The alderman said DENR’s intervention is hoped to stop any individuals from applying a title inside the forest reserve.

“What then is left for our children if they start grabbing the land?” he asked.

Fongwan Jr. earlier filed a resolution creating the ad hoc team to conduct a study and make recommendations on all matters pertaining the Puguis Communal Forest.

The ad hoc committee will be led by lawyer Jennifer Fianza and Engineers Vicente Perez, Emerson Tabernero, Patrick Concepcion and Benedict Pineda. The team will make a weekly report to Mayor Romeo Salda and the Sangguniang Bayan Office on the reported land grabbing at the communal forest.

“Through the motion of all the SB members, we asked for survey authority from DENR-CAR to asses and submit a technical description that will be presented to DENR,” Fongwan noted.

In 2005, a joint survey was conducted by technical personnel from the municipality and DENR-CAR for the re-establishment of the metes and bounds of the Puguis Communal Forest located at Barangay Puguis based on Proclamation No. 772 and Cadastral Survey LC Map No. 3049.

The council, alarmed with the apparent exclusion of substantial portion of the long-identified communal forest, have passed Resolution No. 142 – 2007 “Reconsidering Resolution No. 48-2006 entitled adopting and confirming the result of the survey of the Puguis Communal Forest which was conducted by the survey team composed of personnel from the DENR and CENRO based on proclamation No. 772 and cadastral survey resulting to an area of 485.892 sq. meters.”