“Task force Watershed” created to protect Agusan, Butuan 4,300-ha Taguibo Watershed Area

September 5, 2009 11:18 pm 

BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 6 – A “Task Force Watershed” (TFW) has been created to protect and conserve water resources of the 4,300-hectare Taguibo Watershed in Agusan del Norte and this region’s capital city, top environment officials said.

This was created in a wake of alleged “camote” mining and timber poaching activities in the said Taguibo Watershed Area (TWA).

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Mines and Geo-Sciences Bureau and Forest Management Bureau (DENR-MGB-FMB), along with Caraga Conference for Peace and Development (CCPD), Local Government Units (LGUs) and other concerned government agencies and non-government organization (NGO) established the task force.

It was gathered that the DENR-MGB-FMB will head the TFW for the protection of the TWA which was declared by then President Fidel V. Ramos on Sept. 4, 1997 through Presidential Proclamation No. 1076.

The TWA was formed after a multi-sectoral group and officials from FMB in Manila conducted ground verification and investigation over the weekend on the alleged complaints from sectors regarding the alleged small-scale mining and timber poaching inside the TWA.

The TFW that also acts as monitoring team are composed of DENR-MGB-FMB, and CCPD as facilitator, the LGUs, Fr. Urios Unit NetWork, city and provincial government of Agusan del Norte, National Cultural Indigenous People (NCIP), National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), Butuan City Water District (BCWD), and other concerned government agencies and NGOs.

The station of the TFW will be placed in Anticala area, some 15 kilometers northeast of this city.

The function of the TFW is to monitor and enforce and the mining and forestry laws, rules and regulations.

“All movements that violate the Mining and Forestry Code of the Philippines will be penalized in accordance to law,” said in unison by DENR-Provincial and Community Environment and Natural Resources Officers (PENRO-CENRO) Rosendo Asunto and Jaime Acebu, respectively.

“The formation of the body is an important step in the process of addressing the current conditions in the area to conserve its forest and water resources,” explained CENR Officer Acebu, noting that a study made earlier found the area facing the risk of ecological and recreational-use losses, including cultural losses, if restoration activities and policies that respond to the area’s current and potential conditions are not set in place.

Meanwhile, Northeastern Mindanao DENR Regional Executive Director (RED) Edilberto S. Buiser on Sunday also said the creation of TFW is a good “community approach” that finally address the problem on the Taguibo Watershed Area.

“This is everybody’s concern after all what we do today is for the next generation,” added Buiser.

Butuan City Mayor Democrito Plaza II and Agusan del Norte Gov. Erpe John Amante also thrown their full support to the creation of TFW. (PNA)



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