The Provincial Government of Bohol (PGBh) and other concerned government agencies heralded hope that the actual inhabitants and tillers of the controversial 136 hectares of alienable and disposable (A and D) Lands and the 200 has. of Timberlands in San Jose, Mabini, Bohol would finally own the individual title and perpetual right to till the Timberlands under the Forest Land Use Plan (FLUP) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
This came during the Special Working Group (SWG) meeting last Thursday at the Conference Room, Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (DENR-CENRO), San Jose, Talibon, Bohol presided over by Socio-Economic and Environmental Management (SEEM) Cluster Head Liza M. Quirog in behalf of the PGBh together with the representatives from Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO), CENRO, Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Bohol Environment and Management Office (BEMO), Provincial Assessor’s Office (PAO), and Municipal Assessor’s and Treasurer’s Offices of Mabini town.
Quirog said they already gained breakthrough on this quest when the lease contract granted to Highlands Agro Ecosystem Management (HAEM), Inc. with the DENR in these areas during the time of former DENR Secretary Lito Atienza was cancelled by now DENR Secretary Regina Paz L. Lopez on Nov. 18, 2016 due to non development was being made by the HAEM.
Before HAEM, the Timberland areas were under the lease contract agreement with Col. Jose Nazareno and the DENR to be used as ranch. Accordingly, this time stemmed the controversy because allegedly the Nazarenos included some parts of the A and D areas when he constructed the fenced of his ranch dislocating portions of adjacent lands with original owners.
When the contract expired, Nazareno reportedly showed no interest to renew the contract and that HAEM entered into the lease contract agreement.
Quirog emphasized now that the lease contract of HAEM was cancelled, they can now proceed in helping the inhabitants of the A and D lands and the tillers of the timberlands for them could occupy the lots and till other areas legally through the programs of DAR and DENR.
In the National Greening Program of the DENR to the timberland, the beneficiaries are those People’s Organizations or Associations duly registered with the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) or with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) which have an official receipt and bank accounts at the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) as the basic requirements of the NGP.
During the SWG meeting, Community Organizer (CO) Lied Bryan Barloso bared that of the eight association living in the areas namely: Naghiusang Mag-uumang Mag-uuma Sa San Jose (NAGMASAJO), San Jose Fishermen’s Association (SJFA), San Jose Farmer’s Association (SAJOFA), San Jose Small Farmers Association (SAJOSFA), San Jose Dairy Association (SAJODA), SANDEL, San Jose Women’s Association (SAJOWA) and Lamak Irrigators Association only the SAJOFA, SJFA, SANDEL and SAJODA were already registered to the SEC but not eligible beneficiaries of the NGP because of non-compliance of the basic requirements needed.
CENRO Elpidio R. Palaca bared that his office has an allocation amounted to 1.8 million for the NGP.
While the associations are still in the process of complying the basic requirements, the Barangay Local Government Unit (BLGU) of San Jose, Mabini would be the contractor/beneficiary so as to pursue the greening program of the DENR.
Dr. Ronald I. Pumatong and Marcelito Concepcion of DAR-Bohol said their office has been working for the resolution of the problem.
Pumatong bared that last September 6, 2016 SWG meeting he suggested to conduct the delineation survey to identify how many has. belong to the A and D and as timberland areas.
As they are lay-outing for the next steps to be undertaken, the TWG said this endeavor undoubtedly would be successful like what were happened in Pangpang, Ubay and in Totolan, Dauis that hitting the goals to free the areas from encumbrance, to develop the affected timberlands of Mabini and Ubay, and to develop the community in the affected areas.
In the problem of San Vicente, Trinidad, Bohol, Quirog said there was an improvement during the visit of DENR Sec. Lopez.(Atoy Cosap)