February 6, 2023

Officials from different government agencies and institutions in Benguet signed a pledge of commitment supporting the newly created inter agency task group on forest fire management and suppression on Feb. 13.
Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer (Penro) Edgardo S. Flor said it is high time for agencies and private institutions to help in the prevention and management of forest fires, which is one of the environmental problems besetting the province.
PENRO Benguet Monitoring and Enforcement Chief Eloida Ganayan said the task group in Benguet was created to help in the prevention of forest fire occurrences in the province where more than 50 forest fire incidents were recorded last year. These affected various flora and fauna species other natural resources in the province.
The fires also affected the plantation sites under the government’s National Greening Program that serve as sources of livelihood for some community members.
Department of the Interior and Local Government-Benguet Director Rufina Fegcan urged the municipal and barangay officials to support the task group and told them to continue protecting their areas against forest fires and other activities that contribute to environmental degradation.
During the Jan. 23 meeting at Penro-Benguet, entities directly and indirectly using the forests and its natural resources were urged to support the communities by helping them in fire suppression or providing them with fire management equipment and facilities.
The group is planning to conduct information drives on forest fire management in vulnerable communities. – Ian Jefrey Addatu