THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has stepped in to protect the 9.5 hectares undeclared part of the Pugius Communal Forest in La Trinidad, Benguet.

DENR Action Center Representative Merlinda Manila during a meeting with town officials said their office will push through with a workshop to finalize plans towards the proclamation of the 9.5 hectares in Puguis as additional area of the originally declared 48 hectares.

"We will have a workshop, a joint plan to assign people of their responsibilities this December. The write shop will cover activities to do and memorandum of agreement drafting," she said.

Manila also promised to provide two motorcycles for the five current Bantay Gubat staff roving Shilan, Alno, Puguis, and Alapang communal forests.

Provincial DENR Officer Julio Lopez affirmed that an additional staff will help secure the communal forest in Puguis.

The additional personnel will be added to the three municipal hired Bantay Gubat, and Two PENRO hired staff to help protect the Puguis forest.

The meeting was made possible after the La Trinidad Municipal Council penned a resolution to intervene and issue appropriate directive from the DENR to facilitate in the documentation of a parcel of land inside the communal forest and its eventual declaration as part and parcel of forest reserve.

Sangguniang Bayan Resolution No.250-2016 passed in September 27 this year indorsed by Mayor Romeo Salda to DENR-CAR on October 13 reiterated the strong opposition of the municipality of La Trinidad to all applications for land titling over that portion of lot.

Another SB resolution, Res. No.293-2016, was passed requesting DENR-CAR Regional Director to issue survey authority to LGU on the forest.