Fencing of watersheds still a priority – Domogan

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BAGUIO CITY  – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan emphasised that the fencing of the remaining forested portions of watersheds in the city will remain one of the priority programs and projects to be implemented by concerned government agencies, the local government and their private sector partners to help in preserving and protecting the forest reservations in the city.

The local chief executive said that the successful implementation of the fencing of the Busol watershed will be replicated in other critical watersheds in the city to prevent the reservations from being intruded into by informal settlers.

The fencing of the Busol watershed was an initiative of the Baguio Regreening Movement (BRM), a non-government organization advocating for the preservation and protection of the city’s environment, which was supported by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) under the leadership of former Secretary Ramon Paje who facilitated the release of some P18 million for the full implementation of the noble project.

“We always made the preservation and protection of the environment as one of our priorities because it is our forests that help maintain the city’s cool weather condition that is our natural pull for visitors to spend their well-deserved break in our city,” Domogan stressed.

He pointed out that the P5 million earmarked by the Fil-Am Golf Foundation for the Busol fencing project was not actually used for the purpose, thus, he requested the foundation through its president Robert John Sobrepeña, to allow the use of the funds to fence the Camp 8 watershed, one of the identified critical watersheds in the city, to spare the same from being intruded by informal settlers.

According to him, the local government is grateful to the DENR, BRM and other private partners like the Fil-Am Golf Foundation, for their unrelenting and uncompromising support to its environmental preservation and protection programs and projects because of the desire of the present generation to allow the future generation of Baguio residents to enjoy a well-preserved environment.

Domogan pointed out that aside from the fencing of the identified critical watersheds in the city, concerned government agencies, the local government and the private sector partners are also strengthening the reforestation of the forest reservations to increase the forest cover and help contribute in efforts to improve the supply of water for the residents.

Among the critical watersheds in the city include the Busol watershed, Buyog watershed within the Quirino Hill and Pinget areas, Camp 8 forest reservation, Lucnab watershed, Camp John Hay forest reservation, Forbes Park forest reservation, Crystal Cave watershed and the Sto. Tomas forest reservation.

He urged different sectors in the city to walk the talk by actively participating in the overall efforts of government to preserve and protect the different forest reservations by planting agro-forestry trees not only in the identified watersheds but also in their backyards.

By Dexter A. See

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