Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr: Protect Philippine’s limited resources

2023 June 26

SAFEGUARD RESOURCES. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. plants a Molave tree at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Environmental Heroes Park to celebrate the 160th anniversary of the Philippine Forestry Service in Quezon City on Monday (June 26, 2023). Marcos encouraged everyone to protect the country’s limited resources for generations to come.

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MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Monday urged government agencies, particularly the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and the private and public sectors to work together in protecting, preserving and managing the country’s limited resources.

“I challenge everyone to carry a deep sense of pride and ownership of the lands that will continue to nurture and feed our nation for generations to come,” Marcos said during the celebration of the Philippine Environment Month, Philippine Arbor Day, and the 160th Anniversary of the Philippine Forestry Service held in Quezon City.

Marcos said the Philippines, for instance, can adopt a forest management concept developed in Ilocos Norte to ensure the sustainability of forest projects in the country.

Financed by the Asian Development Bank, the Ilocos project involved tree-planting, watershed development and cooperative organization.

Marcos said as long as people have a sense of ownership and belonging in forest preservation, Filipinos will do everything they can to preserve the ecology, forestland and biodiversity.

“And the only way that we were able to guarantee that this will be a self-sustaining program, that once we leave, that those locals who live in those areas will actually take care of those trees was to give them a sense of ownership. And we did this simply by saying: ‘These trees are yours. It is up to you to take care of them. It is up to you to use them,” Marcos said.

“And I am happy to be able to report that those trees up to now are growing, are strong, and are continuing to cover a great deal of our forestland and now also the watershed developments that we had started. It is a model that we have to start – that might be a template,” he added.

During the occasion, the President planted a Molave tree at the DENR’s Environmental Heroes Park.

The Spanish government established the Philippine Forestry Service in 1863 and was reorganized in 1899 under the government of President Emilio Aguinaldo.

In 1974, the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos issued the Forestry Reform Code of the Philippines, which created the Bureau of Forest Development. In 1987, the Forest Management Bureau was created through Executive Order No. 192.

At present, more than half of the country’s 15 million hectares of forestland is covered by forests.

The Philippines increased its forest cover by about 5 percent between 2010 and 2020.

Anna Leah Gonzales (PNA)