DENR launches climate change drive in Benguet

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LA TRINIDAD, Benguet: The Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Philippine Information Agency launched their climate change advocacy campaign, “Nagbabago na ang Panahon, Panahon na Para Magbago” with the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) at the Benguet State University here.

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Other signatories were Gov. Nestor Fongwan, Benguet State University Vice President for Research and Extension Luciana Villanueva, Department of Education- Benguet Division Superintendent Nancy Lumbas, SN Aboitiz Power Benguet (SNAP – Benguet) VP for Corporate Affairs Atty. Mike Hosillos, Philex Mining Corporation represented by Atty. Francis Ballesteros and Jaime V. Ongpin Foundation Inc. represented by Executive Director Maria Rosario Lopez.

Benguet Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office Officer-in-Charge Octavio Cuanso signed for DENR while PIA was represented by Regional Director Helen Tibaldo.

Fongwan, in his inspirational message, highlighted the importance of such partnership especially in the preservation of the remaining forests of the province.

“The province is currently on a crisis with the massive destruction of our forests, by people who disregard forest laws. We have to protect our forests, we needed to remind these people, we should do something and make it part of our program,” Fongwan said.

Among the forest issues in the province are the massive destruction of Mt. Sto. Tomas, a forest reservation under Presidential Proclamation 581; rampant tree cutting at the foot of Mt. Pulag and various communal forests in Benguet that are being encroached by people for construction of houses or conversion to farmlands.

“This signing of MOA is timely and with our partners from the youth to the private companies and non-government organization, this issue should be a concern of everybody and it is still not too late to save our forests; we can still re-forest the damaged parts and we can work together to protect the remaining forest covers,” Fongwan added.

The DENR-PIA Climate Change Advocacy is a nationwide campaign aimed to strengthen public awareness on climate change concerns and on environmental protection and preservation, as well as to inspire or drumbeat multi-sectoral support, cooperation and active participation.

They also partnered with Pilipinas Natin, the volunteer arm of the Presidential Communications Operations Office, for social mobilization targeting particularly the youth.

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