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Forest Protection Officers start deployment on Thursday

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Some 178 Forest Protection Officers (FPOs) recommended by the concerned barangay officials will be working starting Thursday (November 16,2017) to assist the personnel of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Zamboanga City Water District (ZCWD) and ZamboEcozone in the preservation of our remaining forest, watershed and the protected mangrove areas.

This as Congressman Celso Lobregat in coordination with DENR, ZCWD and ZamboEcozone officials agreed to start the deployment of these force multipliers into the mountains and mangroves the soonest possible time to be able to help in protecting our environment.

Congressman Lobregat said that these FPO’s will be tasked to conduct monitoring and help in preserving the forestlands, watershed and mangroves especially in patrolling the buffer zones where reports on alleged illegal logging and prohibited cutting of mangroves in being done.

An FPO will earn PhP8,500 a month and he will be working in two teams in schedules of Monday to Wednesday for Team 1 and Thursday to Monday for Team 2.

“Ta mira yo next year we will not be talking only about forest protection but including national greening program and other relevant tasks like producing seedlings, capacity building and others, if we see the importance of this project,” Lobregat said.

It can be recalled that Congressman Lobregat and DENR officials called on the barangay chairmen of concerned barangays located along the forestlands, watershed and mangrove areas to orient them about such program.

The barangays of Limpapa, Labuan, Patalon, La Paz, Pamucutan, Baluno, Pasonanca, Dulian-Upper Pasonanca, Mariki Rio Hondo and Sta. Barbara were pinpointed by the DENR to be the recipients of this endeavor wherein the FPO’s are to be deployed.

Lobregat set the deadline yesterday for the barangays to submit the names of their FPO recommendees last Friday and the proper orientation was made yesterday in ZamboEcozone  for the barangays near ecozone and at ZCWD Reservoir in Pasonanca for areas around Pasonanca watershed and mangrove areas.

“In this program which I asked from the DENR, the FPO’s have to work very closely and must coordinate with ZCWD and Ecozone forest guards because they have agreement for the deployment of guards in forest areas,” Lobregat said.

The solon said that he have seen the importance of protecting the environment and the remaining forest of Zamboanga for the future generations and the efforts in doing it should be done now and not tomorrow. – Dexter Yap




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