Issue of February 10, 2013
Mt. Province

65th Courier Anniversary Issue
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MOA signed to stop expansion of veggie farms in Mt Kabuyao
by Rimaliza Opiña

TUBA, Benguet – Moves are underway for the preservation of Mt. Kabuyao.

Recently, provincial and municipal officials, the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources, the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, and the indigenous peoples organization in the area signed a memorandum of agreement detailing the role of each party in the protection of the mountain, which is fast being converted into vegetable gardens.

“A large portion of mountain is turning into commercial vegetable gardens. With the signing of the MOA, we hope the expansion will stop, if not totally stopped,” said Blas Dalus, president of the Tuba Indigenous Peoples Organization (TIPO).

In the MOA, a big responsibility is lodged with the IPs in Kabuyao’s preservation using indigenous knowledge systems, practices and customary laws.

Mt. Kabuyao is the largest source of water for Baguio.

To implement the MOA, the municipal government is mandated to incorporate an ancestral domain sustainable development protection plan  and come up with a forest land use plan, which it will incorporate into the town’s comprehensive land use plan.

The DENR on the other hand will extend technical and financial assistance to the TIPO for the preparation of the forest land use plan.

The NCIP meanwhile will facilitate procurement of a certificate precondition necessary for the conduct of activities within the Kabuyao ancestral domain.

Forest Planning Officer Lorencio Pacio said the preparation of the forest land use plan begins this year.

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