TUGUEGARAO CITY, Feb. 4 (PIA) -- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) region 2 has augmented its force against forest illegal activities by hiring additional 84 rangers who are deployed in the different provinces of Cagayan Valley.
Forester Bernardo Valiente, chief-forest protection and law enforcement section, said region 2 has very wide forest covers, including the Sierra Madre mountain range, which need to be guarded against illegal activities, especially illegal logging, poaching, mining, and hunting of forest resources.
Valiente said the number of forest guards hired is not enough to serve as watchdogs in the forest covers of the region and due to lack of financial resources, officials, community organizations, environmentalists, and other sectors are also tapped to help guard the forests to maintain the resources, and to protect and preserve the forest zones.
“These 'bantay-gubat' forces really help us in identifying who are engaged in illegal logging and other illegal activities inside the forest. From their reports, our authorities know how to respond to implement forest protection related laws,” Valiente said.
Valiente revealed that each of the forest guards are given honorarium of P3,000 monthly, which is very minimal considering the risks they are exposed to. Valiente explained that the forest rangers are not hired as permanent, but work in the basis of terms and conditions only.
The members of the forest rangers also help in conducting information and education drives in the communities inside the forest to instill awareness on the importance of forest resources that need to be preserved, protected, and enhanced. (TCB/OTB/PIA-2 with JDR)