Importance of Cordillera Watersheds, Forests Cited

Article excerpt

BAGUIO CITY -- The protection of the region's forests is the top priority this year of the Cordillera office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

This was announced the other day by Primitivo Galinato Jr., who was appointed recently by DENR Secretary Lito Atienza as regional executive director (RED) of the DENR in the Cordillera.

Galinato took over the post of Samuel Penafiel, who was detailed at the DENR central office in Manila.

Galinato admitted that the position of DENR chief in the Cordillera carries with it a heavy load of responsibility, noting that just like other regions in the country, Cordillera is hounded by serious ecological problems caused mainly by its fragile environment.

In his capacity as forester, Galinato cited the importance of the region's watersheds which, he said, supports life systems and serves domestic and agricultural water needs in the Cordillera as well as the three other regions in Luzon.

He said that the protection of the region's forests should be the concern of every DENR worker because the lives of thousands of people depend on whatever action is taken in the forests and watersheds of the Cordillera.

One of the first actions of the new Cordillera DENR official is to order the creation of fire brigades in areas prone to forest fires specially during the dry season.

Galinato also said there is a need to strengthen a multi-sectoral committee which is investigating the reported destruction of the mossy forests at the boundaries of Benguet, Mountain Province and Ifugao. …