Press Release
June 11, 2010


Senator Edgardo J. Angara who authored Tree Legacy Bill said that the biil will address to what he described as an "alarming levels of destruction of Philippine forests," especially with the threats of environmental damages that the rainy season brings.

Angara proposes for the creation of a Forest Management Program to put a halt to the rapid deterioration of the country's forests. According to Haribon Foundation, our forests have reached the threshold of sustainability. In the 1990's, forest cover in the Philippines was estimated at 21 million hectares. A decade later, it was further reduced to 800,000 ha.

"2010 is projected that forest cover will be reduced to an upsetting a measly 266,666 ha," warned Angara, former Secretary of Agriculture.

He stressed that the destruction of these forests has had disastrous effects on the country's rich biodiversity, with many endemic species pushed to extinction. "We are blessed with such resources but we are always challenged by disasters, natural and even man made disasters that is gravely damaging and exploiting our environment."

"Limited forest cover affects not only our environment but our economy as a whole; but also the people from the provinces, their livelihood and lives. A damaged environment causes a domino-effect of disasters," Angara noted.

He added there is a need for a program to ensure equitable access, sharing of rights to natural resources, development, management, protection and utilization. "It is the role of the government to provide opportunities where the people can participate actively in forest resource development," he reminded.

The Tree Legacy promotes a community-based approach in attaining sustainable forest management. It encourages tree planting development from both private and public lands, which is also very important in integrated watershed management.

News Latest News Feed