The barangay- based Bantay Watershed Task Force (BWTF) organized by the Upper Agno River Watershed Area Team (UARWAT) undergone a Seminar on Forest Policies and Forest Fire Prevention and Suppression in Tublay, Atok, and Buguias for the months of February and March 2019.
UARWAT sought the help of the community members to assist in protecting and preserving the remaining forest covers in their respective barangays as they know best in managing the forest resources in their indigenous way.
Themed “Save Trees, Save Water, and Save Lives”, the
Seminar- Lecture Series served as a multi-agency and multi- stakeholders Information, Education, and Campaign (IEC).
UARWAT partnered with Department of Environmental and Natural Resources- Community Environmental and Natural Resources Offices- Buguias and Baguio, Municipal Environmental and Natural Resources Office, Bureau of Fire Protection, and Philippine National Police.
UARWAT SWMS Guazon H. Garcia briefed the audience on NPC’s Vision, Mission, Goals, and Objectives (VGMO), watershed management strategies including the mandates Barangay Local Government Unit (BLGU), while Section Chief Mendel S. Garcia encouraged the volunteers to do better in managing their forestlands by leaving them the 4 As: Awareness, Appreciate, Action, and Advocate.
Other than Forest and Environmental laws, around 250 BWTF volunteer members were educated of the importance of trees, and the watershed as whole. BWTF CRO introduced and reintroduced the Bantay Watershed Task Force Program. The DENR- CENROs were tapped as resource speakers sharing the PD 705, Chainsaw Act, and the mandates of DENR. BFP discussed on the basics of forest fire; while the PNP shared on enforcement of forest laws.
The two- day activity includes an action planning write shop/workshop where the BWTF members determined interventions to the present status or situation of their areas.
The last BWTF municipal-wide seminar will be at Kabayan, Benguet on March 27-28, 2019. A Forest Congress or Fire Prevention Summit shall follow if budget permits.