Mt. Tipolog occupants hail CBFMA endorsement of dads, tribal council

Jun. 14, 2007

DAVAO CITY — Forest occupants of Mt. Tipolog in Barangay Tawan-Tawan, Baguio District hailed the endorsement of the city council of their application for a community-based forest management agreement (CBFMA).

The forest occupants, who comprise the Mt. Tipolog Bantay Kinaiyahan Farmers Association, also got the backing of the tribal council of Tawan-Tawan.

We are really happy that we are getting all these support. Finally, our local officials have recognized our right to manage this particular natural resource…This is a very important development for us and something that we will never put to waste, Danilo Gumapac, one of the forest occupants and a Barangay Kagawad, said.

Gumapac said that through the CBFMA, they the forest occupants will become the governments active ally in protecting the area. The land is also included in the ancestral domain claim of the lumad in Baguio District. Apparently, their application is the forest occupants way of guarding the area against other quarters who have signified their desire to develop it.

The CBFMA is the primary program and strategy of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in involving forest occupants in the actual management and protection of forest areas.

Our claim of the area will not end with us but instead will encompass our children and the next generations to come. We are concerned about the future and our application is one of our ways to keep the future assured, Gumapac said.

Other members of the group are just as grateful and optimistic that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, with the completion of the requirements set for the granting of CBMFA, will grant them the tenureal instrument.

Since we have already completed the necessary documents and have undergone all the required processes, the DENR will finally grant us the CBFMA, said Perdo Bolasito, chairperson of the group said.

The City council, in a resolution authored by councilor Leonardo Avilla III, chairperson of the committee on environment and natural resources, expressed its support to the group stressing the exhaustion of all the needed documents and processes.

The tribal council of Tawan-Tawan also passed its own resolution signifying their endorsement. The resolution was signed by tribal chieftain Cornelio Anta and six other council members.

The Barangay Council of Tawan-Tawan has also passed a separate resolution endorsing the same application.

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