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Forestland Boundary Assessment and Delineation completed in Region IX


It’s finished!!! After a decade of intense and dedicated work, the Forestland Boundary Assessment and Delineation for the entire Region IX, Zamboanga Peninsula has been accomplished by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) particularly by the Regional Assessment and Delineation Teams (RADTs) of the Land Evaluation Party (LEP).

This is in compliance to the directive of DENR Secretary Ramon JP Paje making this program a priority as part of his commitment to President Benigno Simeon Aquino III to accomplish the delineation and assessment of forestland boundaries nationwide by this year.

Under Department Administrative Order No. 2000-24 which establishes the guidelines for the implementation of the Forest Boundary Delineation, DENR is mandated to delineate the boundaries between forestland and Alienable and Disposable lands nationwide  in consonance with the constitutional mandate “for Congress to determine by law the specific limits of the public domain” (Sec. 4, Article XII, 1987 Philippine Constitution) . By 2008, Department Administrative Order 2008-24 was issued to include the assessment of the entire forest zone boundaries covering the uplands, coastal areas and mangroves to enable the RADTs to propose new blocks or parcels within forest zone areas to non-conforming land uses/agricultural areas or vice versa based on secondary and primary data as well as the actual field survey.

The results were deliberated  on three occasions during the conduct of the Draft Bill Deliberation, Review and Workshop wherein the RADTs through their individual team leaders presented the results of their surveys and assessment  to the Regional Assessment and Delineation Committee (RADC) headed by Regional Executive Director Arleigh J. Adorable. The deliberation and review were  conducted from February 15-17, 2011 for the Province of Zamboanga del Sur at Guillermo Hotel in Pagadian City,  on August 17-19, 2011 at Guillermo Hotel in Pagadian City for Zamboanga del Norte and for Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga City and Isabela City on December 13-15, 2011 at Raymunds Mountain Resort, Pagadian City. In all of these occasions, members of the National Assessment and Delineation Committee Technical Working Group (NADC-TWG) in the persons of Assistant Director RSRDAD Jesus Gerardo, Foresters Amie Rabang, Francis Feliciano and Estela Gumabon were at hand to provide valuable technical support. In one occasion, Region IX Planning Focal Person Mely Capistrano was able to attend and shared insights on project management issues.

According to the year-end report submitted by Land Evaluation Party Regional Coordinator Forester Dennis Catalan, a  total of 5,590.18 kilometers of forestland boundary was successfully assessed and delineated covering five (5) provinces broken down as follows: Zamboanga del Norte – 1,662.37 kilometers; Zamboanga del Sur – 1,493.28 kilometers; Zamboanga City 679.78 kilometers; Zamboanga Sibugay 1,471.32 kilometers; and  Isabela City, Basilan – 83.43 kilometers. These include new lines established for proposed conversion to alienable and disposable lands, proposed reversion to timberlands and “hotspot areas”. Hotspot areas are those areas located in certain hinterlands and coastal areas which are considered impenetrable due to adverse peace and order situation. In this instance, the RADTs adopted the replotted National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA) forest boundary maps and were included in the draft bill.

Forester Catalan stressed that all data or figures under the total kilometers accomplished for Zamboanga Sibugay Province, Zamboanga City and Isabela City may slightly change or be altered pending the final output for the draft bill for each province/area as their office is in the process of finalizing all integration and encoded GIS data after the recently concluded deliberation. The final output/figure shall be that in the proposed draft bill for each province to be submitted to the NADC, DENR Central Office in Quezon City.

In the process of its implementation, local government officials to include  the Governor, Congressmen, Mayors, Barangay Chairmen and local residents were closely coordinated and informed about the project through Information, Education and Communication (IEC) Campaigns. This came in the form of distribution of IEC materials such as primer and posters/calendars, courtesy calls, attendance to ABC meetings/SB sessions, conduct of barangay assemblies/meetings and radio interviews/guesting, Forester Catalan added.

Finally, Forester Catalan expressed his profound gratitude to the unwavering support of  Regional Executive Director Arleigh J. Adorable, FMS RTD Ali M. Bari, member RTDs of the RAD committee and Division Chiefs, PENROs, CENROs, NADC-TWG, LEP Staff personnel, RADTs and other support services as they were instrumental to the success of the program.

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