1st Semester Report (January-June 2019)

INTRODUCTION

Datu Paulino Landim stands on top of the Bol’lad ‘To Manama”-their eco-cultural tourism landmark to observe the extent of their communal farms in Mount Karilongan.

Datu Paulino Landim stands on top of the Bol’lad ‘To Manama”-their eco-cultural tourism landmark to observe the extent of their communal farms in Mount Karilongan.

Forests are crucial for the health and well-being of people, wildlife, and our planet. But, forests, and the people who depend on them such as Indigenous Peoples, are now under tremendous pressure worldwide. Deforestation in many parts of the world continues to occur at an alarming pace and remain as a major environmental issue as the result of agricultural conversion and expansion for food and industrial crops such as palm oil and rubber, livestock production, mining, and energy and industrial infrastructure development.

Forest degradation that includes shifting cultivation, cash cropping, firewood collection, unsustainable logging and anthropogenic fires intensified by exceptional droughts is even more widespread leading to the loss of breeding and foraging habitats and shelter for forest biodiversity, forest structure, ecological functioning and provision of ecosystem services. Furthermore, biodiversity loss, climate change, pollution, water shortages, and environmental conflicts lessen the capacity of forest landscapes to provide the environmental goods and services that support food security and other basic human needs (Parrotta, Yeo-Chang, Camacho, 2016). This also puts every household and community at greater risk, particularly from natural disasters and the losses in livelihood, lives, properties, and health that it brings. Studies show that the underlying causes of these problems are poverty, over-population, inequitable land tenure regime, misguided policies, weak governments and debt burdens (Aguda, 2016). Humanity faces an exceptional challenge of eroding natural resources and declining ecosystem services due to a multitude of threats (Pandey, 2000).

Nowadays, many indigenous communities still reside in remote, sparsely inhabited areas, with relatively unspoiled nature, including forest resources (Stevens,1997). Based on a recent report by the indigenous rights organization, there are more than 370 million indigenous people around the world (UNDP, 2014) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) also revealed that the indigenous traditional land which is also known as ancestral land possess about 80% of the world’s biodiversity. Around 75% of these are known as key biodiversity areas and the indigenous people themselves hold profound, holistic and locally rooted knowledge of their environment; hence indigenous people have the potential to play an important role in managing biological resources.
Since the signing into law of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA Law) in 1997, the role of Indigenous Peoples in the management of the country’s natural resources has been given the attention it rightfully deserves. Under the IPRA IRR Part 2, Section 2.b.3., Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICC) are mandated “to protect, conserve and manage portions of the ancestral domains…which they find necessary for critical watersheds…, wildlife sanctuaries,… protected areas, forest cover or reforestation.” These responsibilities, as well as their development initiatives, should be embodied in their Ancestral Domain Sustainable Development and Protection Plan (ADSDPP).

The ICC in Barangay Carmen protects and conserve their part of their ancestral domain which covers about 2,928.11 hectares of tropical forest and is known as critical habitat of globally endangered biodiversity such as the Philippine Eagle and the Philippine deer. It includes also the important watersheds of Talomo and Tamugan-Panigan Rivers of Davao City. With the support from Euro Generics International Philippines Foundation (EGIPF) and in partnership with concerned agencies such as the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) and the Department and Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Carmen Indigenous Cultural Community (ICC) has been implementing its Forest Protection and Management cum Sustainable Livelihood Project for almost nine (9) years.
The project includes the regular foot monitoring and patrolling of the ancestral forest to protect it from illegal loggers and activities, poachers, and encroachers and filing cases against forest violators, reforestation in denuded parts of their domain and popularizing indigenous knowledge on forest protection and management to different offices and concerned agencies. Livelihood support is also provided to accelerate community income in order to sustain their protection activities. As of this writing, the community is processing the needed documents and permits to start the operation of their community-based eco-tourism initiative as an alternative and more sustainable source of their livelihood.

RESULTS

For the past six (6) months, the Obu-Manuvu community and the EGIPF have been very active in accomplishing their targeted activities even with limited support and resources. Priority activities involved the acquiring of permits and other pertaining documents for the eco-cultural tourism initiative of the community, filing cases against forest violators in the Kalatong and Carmen-Tabak area with the help from different government offices and concerned agencies, popularizing and acquiring membership of the EGIPF with the Davao City Watershed Management Council and the Philippine Council for NGO Certification (PCNC), registration of the community cooperative, the “Koontayan “to Obu-Manuvu of Carmen Inc.”, with the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) and obtaining the tax-exempt status of the EGIPF. At the same time, different initiatives were undertaken including the search for additional funding for project activities and benefits. Partnership and possible collaboration with other NGO’s and the Academe were also explored.

This report highlights the activities accomplished for the months of January-June 2019.

Forest Protection and Management

Since 2018, the City Government of Davao through the Davao City Watershed Management Council and the Public Safety and Security Command Center (PSSCC) have adopted the Bantay Bukid program that provides monthly allowances to selected local forest law enforcers. Since then, the Bantay Bukid is tasked to continue their regular monthly monitoring activities to protect the remaining forest and important watersheds of Davao City.

Mr.Alec van Dierendonck, Chairman/President of EGIP Foundation gives  a new set of monitoring equipment and materials. to the Obu-Manuvu Bantay Bukid of Brgy Carmen.

Mr.Alec van Dierendonck, Chairman/President of EGIP Foundation gives a new set of monitoring equipment and materials. to the Obu-Manuvu Bantay Bukid of Brgy Carmen.

In Barangay Carmen, out of 43 Obu-Manuvu forest guards deputized by the DENR, 23 of them are included in the program of the City Government of Davao. Aside from their regular monitoring and foot patrolling, they are also tasked to report and take action in case of violations like illegal logging, mining, poaching, etc. in coordination with the DENR and NCIP. Last March 29, 2019, a new set of monitoring equipment and materials such rain boots, raincoats, new uniforms, headlamps, and IDs were distributed to the forest guards by the EGIPF through Mr. Alec van Dierendonck, the new chairman and president.

With their passion and consistency in respect of protecting their ancestral domain from encroachment, land speculators and illegal loggers, last January 15, 2019, a team composed of the DENR-XI Law Enforcement Division, PENRO-Davao Del Sur, CENRO-Davao City, PNP-Baguio, 3rd Infantry “Regardless of What Batallion”, 7th Infantry Division of Philippine Army, BLGU-Carmen, EGIP Foundation, Obu-Manuvu Indigenous Council of Elders and Leaders, and Bantay Bukid from Barangay Carmen and Barangay Tambobong went to Sitio Tabak and Sitio Kalatong of Barangay Carmen to survey and verify the reported forest violations by the Obu-Manuvu forest guards of Barangay Carmen. The composite team witnessed the destruction brought by the encroachers and intruders into the ancestral forest and watersheds. More or less 200 hectares of forest were cleared, burned and occupied by several individuals in the area and more or less 100 houses erected. The team also saw some markers along the way which means that the news was true that the land was distributed among these individuals. Several photos and drone footages of the said illegal activities were taken that support the previous reports of the Obu-Manuvu Bantay Bukid of Barangay Carmen and hence will serve as evidence against the violators in the area. The team interviewed and interrogated some members of the illegal groups but they denied any illegal activities in the area that evidently had been destroyed. They claimed that they have documents that prove that they own the whole area which they inherited from their ancestors. Others also said that they don’t have any idea about the law and that what they have been doing is considered illegal. They argued that they just went there to confirm and see the parcel of land given or sold to them. The team advised them to stop whatever they do in the area while the investigation was on-going.

However, when the Bantay Bukid of Barangay Carmen conducted their regular monthly monitoring and foot patrolling last March 18, 2019, they found out that they had continued their illegal activities in the area and a new large tract of the ancestral forest was cleared and several more structures were also built. Numerous endemic trees and plants were cut and illegally logged by intruders and encroachers of the ancestral domain of the ICC in Carmen. Furthermore, a massive number of traps and garbage was also observed in the area.

Atty. Zuleika T. Lopez, City Administrator of Davao City spearheads the special meeting to resolve the forest violations and illegal occupation issues in Kalatong and Tabak-Carmen area.

Atty. Zuleika T. Lopez, City Administrator of Davao City spearheads the special meeting to resolve the forest violations and illegal occupation issues in Kalatong and Tabak-Carmen area.

With the continuing forest violation activities, the Forest Protection and Management Committee (FPMC) of Barangay Carmen filed cases against the identified violators. They submitted the reports to the Obu-Manuvu Ancestral Domain Management Office, BLGU-Carmen, PSSCC, NCIP, DENR, and to the Office of the City Mayor through the Davao City Watershed Management Council (DCWMC). The DCWMC conducted a follow-up investigation of the said forest violations. On the other hand, the CENRO-Davao Del Sur headed by Mr. Marvin Parilla conducted a similar investigation and called both sides to settle the issues. Apparently, there were heated arguments with respect to the filing of appropriate cases. As of this writing, the Davao City Watershed Management Council, CENRO-Davao Del Sur, EGIPF and other concerned agencies assist the Obu-Manuvu Bantay Bukid of Barangay Carmen in filing a court case. They also plan to demolish the illegal structures in the area, install checkpoints at the entry and exit points, do an education and information drive and continue to monitor the area.

Apart from the regular monthly monitoring and foot patrolling around the ICC’s ancestral forest and the watersheds of Talomo and Panigan River, the forest guards also do reforestation. They plant bamboo and other native trees in the area at the side of the riverbanks in order to prevent erosion. Furthermore, they also do community-based water monitoring every month to assess the water quality of the Panigan River, along with river cleanups and information and education campaigns among the local residents of Barangay Carmen, Baguio District, Davao City. The Bantay Bukid is the city’s front-liners in watershed protection to ensure that the Watershed Code is enforced within the upland areas resulting in good quality and adequate supply of water in a sustainable manner for all Dabawenyos. In addition, they also continue to maintain their farm-to-market trail in Karilongan in support for their community eco-tourism initiative project.

Nursery and Reforestation

For the past months, the Obu-Manuvu community together with the EGIPF have been busy with designing a reforestation program. The program is designed in a way that the survival of trees is guaranteed and that the trees can grow old through a system of payment for environmental services. This means that the community will be paid for the planting of native forest trees as well as for its maintenance during a 5-year period. After the maintenance period, the protection and survival of the trees will be guaranteed by the DENR deputized forest guards. The reforestation project is funded by Mr. Wiebe van Rij and meant as a model site. The one-hectare area is located in a part of the land of Mr. Gerbel Aggas in Karilongan. Initially, it was an open space but now it is planted with more or less 300 different species of wildlings and seedlings. The project is agreed by a written agreement between Mr. van Rij and Mr. Aggas.

The Obu-Manuvu Bantay Bukid and EGIPF volunteers during the maintenance for their adopt-a-tree project.

The Obu-Manuvu Bantay Bukid and EGIPF volunteers during the maintenance for their adopt-a-tree project.

Furthermore, another reforestation initiative in the areas along the Panigan River and at Mt. Karilongan is the Adopt-a-tree scheme as part of the eco-tourism project of the community, wherein tourists will pay Php 500.00 to adopt 1 fruit tree seedling and 1 native forest tree wildling. Fruit tree seedlings such as Lanzones, Durian, Mangosteen, and Guyabano, and native wildlings such as Tinikaran or common tea tree, Igim or white cedar, Kaningag or cinnamon tree, Balite or Fig tree, Olayan or Philippine oak tree, Lawaan and some Almasiga. Tree seedlings are now stored in the nursery area and ready to be transplanted. As of now, at least 200 fruit seedlings and wildlings were planted along the side of the newly improved farm to market trail in the Karilongan area and are maintained by the concerned landowner. Name tags were also installed on each plant to acknowledge the donor.
For the nursery, aside from the chambered wildlings and purchased and stored fruit tree seedlings, the project also has vegetable seedlings ready to be planted around the one-hectare rented nursery lot. This will serve as a demonstration farm for the community to determine what kind of vegetables or herbs are suitable to plant in their own land. Vegetable and herb seedlings such as okra, ampalaya, sayote, carrots, eggplant, pechay, tomato, rosemary, and basil are now ready for transplanting in prepared garden plots of the community. The vegetables and spices will be one of the food sources for visiting tourists in the eco-tourism project of the community.

As for the partnership with the CENRO Davao City in the National Greening Project (NGP) reforestation project, we need to wait until next year since according to their office, the national budget for the NGP was moved and will be prioritized next year including our pending partnership project. However, all needed documents and requirements for the project have already been submitted and completed.

Eco-Tourism Project of the Indigenous Cultural Community in Carmen

The Koontayan ‘To Obu-Manuvu Eco-Cultural Adventure is an eco-cultural tourism initiative of the ICC in Carmen in partnership with the Obu Manuvu Ancestral Domain Management Council and BLGU-Carmen with support from the EGIPF. The EGIPF support is part of the 10-year Memorandum of Agreement with some other project partners including NCIP and the DENR. The main purpose of the project is to provide alternative sustainable livelihood to the Obu-Manuvu ICC in Barangay Carmen that will help them not only in protecting and rehabilitating their ancestral forest but also in respect of enhancing and creating environmental awareness among the community and the visiting public. Some of the eco-cultural activities will let the public experience and appreciate the beauty of nature and the environmental services that they provide to humans and all life for that matter. Proposed activities are bird watching, forest walks, farm stays, plant and adopt-a-tree scheme, and be a bantay bukid. Furthermore, this will also help revitalize the losing culture and traditions of the whole ICC since it will showcase their way of living, their foods, and traditional songs and dances to the visitors.

Currently, the project has established an Obu-Manuvu Village atop of Mount Karilongan. Three (3) ICC houses made of bamboo with sanitary and water facilities have also been constructed in the village to accommodate visitors during their overnight stay with the community and experience traditional and eco-friendly activities that the Obu-Manuvu community can offer. The Bol’lad ‘To Manama or God’s Hand structure which is made of concrete and coated by bamboo and rattan, serves as prayer site and a viewing deck that overlooks the whole Carmen area and some parts of the Davao metropolis and the Davao Gulf. The site is now becoming familiar and the main attraction in the Obu-Manuvu village at Karilongan which is a symbol of the community’s hopes and dreams to become self-sufficient and self-sustaining. In addition, some spaces are also allocated for putting up tents for those who would like to camp, and as bonfire ground for socialization and cultural presentations. Moreover, some sitting arrangements at outstanding viewpoints and bird watching spots were also installed as a resting area. Railings were constructed to ensure the safety of the visitors when they climb 1083 no sikaa or steps of the concrete farm to the market trail (Hubertus Trail) that goes up to the Obu-Manuvu Village. As a whole, the project does showcase the natural, unique and genuine culture of the Obu-Manuvu ICC and has great potential to invite both local and international tourists.

Last year, aside from the construction of the eco-structures and beautification of the improved Hubertus trail, a series of meetings and presentations were made in order to introduce the project and acquire consent with and suggestions and recommendations from partner agencies. The proposed eco-cultural tourism project has already been presented to the Regional Office of the Department of Tourism and the City Tourism Operation’s Office. Both offices expressed their positive thoughts about the project and gave their support in terms of giving capability training and assistance in promoting the project. Another presentation was done during a meeting participated in by the BLGU-Carmen headed by Hon. Alfredo Austral Sr. and his council, the Baguio District Police headed by SPO4 Arnel C. Betita, the Philippine Army of the 3rd Infantry Battalion of Malagos District, the Davao City headed by LT. Christopher M. Dela Cruz and Datu Joel Unad of the Obu-Manuvu Indigenous Council of Elders and Leaders. The main objective of the meeting was to establish and implement a proper channel of communication with the project management and their office especially with regards to peace and security related matters. The said group is now part of the monitoring and evaluation team of the project and primarily their role is to provide safety and security to the guests/tourists. Then, a stakeholder’s consultation meeting was also held to ask consent and construct a general development plan for the whole project as recommended by most of the stakeholders concerned. The said meeting was spearheaded by the ICC of Barangay Carmen and EGIPF and participated in by the representatives from the Public Safety and Security Command Center (PSSCC) of Davao City, the Department of Tourism (DOT) XI, the City Tourism Operation’s Office (CTOO), the Environment Management Bureau- DENR XI, the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP), the Barangay Council of Brgy. Carmen, the Obu-Manuvu Indigenous Council of Elders and Leaders and the Sunrise Bridge Travel Agency. Aside from their full support for the project, the greatest concern of most of the participants centered on the security angle and its immediate and long-term impact on the proposed project and the tourism potential of Carmen as the center of a tourism circuit for the area. After this, several site visits with partner agencies were also conducted to give them an up-close view of the entire structures and orient them with the activities of the project. In return, they rendered valuable suggestions on how to improve the site while the construction of the structures was still ongoing at that time. On September 8, 2018, a soft opening was held to give thanks to the gods of the ICC for the successful establishment of the project.

NCIP Davao Del Sur Provincial Officer Mr. Cris Ingay states the importance of validation and the drafting of  MOU for the eco-cultural tourism project of the Obu-Manuvu community in Brgy. Carmen

NCIP Davao Del Sur Provincial Officer Mr. Cris Ingay states the importance of validation and the drafting of MOU for the eco-cultural tourism project of the Obu-Manuvu community in Brgy. Carmen


Since then, the community together with the EGIPF staff has been very busy in securing permits and certifications from partner agencies before the Community-based tourism project can be opened to the public officially. These include certifications from the BLGU-Carmen and the Department of Tourism XI through the Davao City Tourism Operations Office as well as permits from the Environmental Bureau Management XI requirements for an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) and the City Government of Davao for a business permit.

As of this writing, permits to operate the project are still pending. Several problems cropped up during the process of acquiring the permits and other pertinent documents. One of the most needed requirements is the Certification from the City Government on the compatibility of the proposed project with its existing land use plan. But since the project is situated in the said Conservation Area of the city, it needs to be presented to the City Planning Office and to the City Planning Board whereby the nature and purpose of the whole project are explained. The project also needs approval by the City Health Office, the Bureau of Fire and Protection, the City Planning and Development Office and the City Tourism Operations Office. All of them will need to conduct a site survey and inspection before they can approve the project. The problem is, they always schedule their survey and inspection rather late and it seems that the project is treated with less priority by these agencies. But, as of this writing, the latter agencies have already done their survey and inspection in a separate schedule. Another problem is that the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) XI will also need the project to submit an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Report other than the land-use compatibility report from the City Planning Office before the EMB can issue the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC). Furthermore, since the project area is located in an ancestral domain, a Certificate of Pre-Condition (CP) from the NCIP is also needed. However since the project is owned by the community, a Memorandum of Understanding will do to issue the CP. But again the NCIP says they need to validate first if the project is truthfully owned and managed by the community. This validation was done last March 26, 2019, but the project still waits for the MOU and the issuance of CP. This CP is also required by the Business Bureau of Davao City before they can issue their Permit to Operate. Furthermore, the proposed project was presented to the new Regional Director of the Department of Tourism XI, Mrs. Tanya Rabat-Tan last March 20, 2019. She fully supports the project.

Registrations and Permits

Aside from the registration of the ICC as the “Koontayan ‘To Obu-Manuvu of Carmen Indigenous Association” to the Department of Labor and Employment as a registered workers’ association, vested with legal personality and all rights and privileges under the provisions of the Presidential Decree No. 442, the ICC is already registered with the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) as “Koontayan “to Obu-Manuvu of Carmen Inc., with registration number CN201846014. In addition, the ICC based Tourism initiative has also already been registered with the business name “Koontayan ‘To Obu-Manuvu Eco-Cultural Adventure” with the Department of Trade and Industry. The Certificate and board resolutions of the BLGU-Carmen and the Unified Obu-Manuvu Indigenous Council of Leaders and Elders, supporting the project, has been done too.

On the other hand, the community marketing cooperative registration is still on process although the validation of documents for coop registration has been done already. The name of the proposed cooperative is “Kolivuungan ‘To Obu-Manuvu Marketing Cooperative” with an initial number of 35 members, consisting of members of the ICC, the BLGU-Carmen Council, and EGIPF staff. Some incorporators of the cooperative still need to undergo a Pre-Registration Seminar (PRS) before the marketing coop can be registered. Among these incorporators are Lipatuan Joel Unad and Mahabbok Luis Lambac.

Furthermore, aside from the above-mentioned registrations, the EGIPF has been busy securing certificates and membership documents from the Philippine Council for NGO Certification (PCNC). However, the first priorities now are changing the present condition of the foundation into a tax-exempt status, crucial in respect of acquiring funds from different funding agencies, as well as requiring the membership of the PCNC Member. The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is the government office responsible for changing the tax status. As of this writing, the required documents have been submitted and are on the table of the Revenue Officer for assessment and review. In the meantime, the EGIPF became a full-pledge member of the Sustainable Davao Movement and Multipartite Monitoring Team of the Davao City Watershed Management Council.

NEXT STEPS/PLANS:

Below are the next priority activities for the project:
1. Secure the permits and certifications from the City Tourism Operations Office, the City Government of Davao, the NCIP and the EMB XI for the community-based tourism project.
2. Pursue the tax-exemption status of EGIPF to allow for possible funding support and PCNC membership;
3. Continue the quarterly forest monitoring and foot patrolling with a focus on the encroachment and illegal forest activities in Kalatong and Tabak-Carmen Area.
4.Follow-up and assist the community and other concerned agencies in filing appropriate cases against forest violators and encroachers in Kalatong and Tabak-Carmen Area;
5. Attract funds to finish the rehabilitation of the Community Learning Center;
6. Facilitate the improvement and beautification of the ICC Village; prioritize the water connection and related facilities and the maintenance of the trail and cottages at Karilongan;
7. Facilitate the required and additional training, study tours and site visits for the community in terms of management, marketing and accounting, basic tour guiding and others that need priority;
8. Further, develop the partnership with the Sunrise Bridge Travel Agency and other local tour agencies for promotion and marketing before the start of the eco-tourism project’s operation;
9.Follow-up on the proposal submitted to the Schmitz Foundation for possible support to further improve on the existing as well as in respect of constructing additional eco-cultural structures. An agroforestry training of the community is also in the pipeline with requested financial support from the Schmitz Foundation;
10. Re-submit the Agricultural Tramline Project Proposal to the Department of Agriculture XI after completing the necessary requirements;
11. Re-submit the registration of the community for the Marketing Cooperative;
12. Locate an appropriate site for a new, one hectare, reforestation project funded by the Dutch Solar Cooperative Spaarnezaam, and make sure enough wildlings are ready in the nursery for planting later in the year;
13. Renew all registration and permits; and,
14. Submit proposals to more funding agencies for possible partnership and support.
15. In respect of furthering enhancing the capacity of EGIPF, on request of the EGIPF management, a Senior Expert of the German Senior Expert Service (SES), Mr. Guenter Muehlbauer will be assigned in August for 4 months to provide his services to the EGIPF as well as to the ICC in Carmen. Besides exploring funding opportunities for forest protection and reforestation, the Expert will also advise on the various project related activities outlined above.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

We are continuously grateful to Datu Paulino Landim Sr. and to the members of his council, to the 43 forest guards and to the 55 families of ICC in Carmen who have shown their commitment and maximum participation in all activities of the project during the last six (6) months even with limited support and resources. We are likewise thankful to the Unified Obu Manuvu Indigenous Council of Elders/Leaders, Ancestral Domain Management Office (ADMO) headed by Datu Luis Lambac and his council Datu Joel Unad and Datu George Mandahay, for their optimism and valuable support to the project. To the Barangay Council of Carmen especially to Barangay Captain Alfred Austral, NCIP XI, DENR XI, and Davao CENRO, for their unending support and guidance especially during the investigation and the filing of appropriate cases to the forest violators in Kalatong and Tabak-Carmen Area.

We are also indebted to Engr. Kristine Nova Macado for her help and patience to the project for almost 2 years but now focusing on her chosen career.

Furthermore, we would like to express our gratitude to all government offices and concerned agencies for their active participation during meetings and presentations of the proposed eco-cultural tourism initiative of the community. Finally to Mr. Alec van Dierendonck, President, and Mr. Wiebe van Rij, Vice-President, the EGIPF Incorporators, in charge of the overall supervision of the activities of the Foundation.

Validation and Verification of Bantay Bukid Reports on Illegal Forest Activities at Sitio Tabak, Brgy.Carmen, Baguio District, Davao City.

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COVER PHOTO: A team composed of DENR-XI Law Enforcement Division, PENRO-Davao Del Sur, CENRO-Davao City, PNP-Baguio, 3rd Infantry “Regardless of What Batallion”, 7th Infantry Division of Philippine Army, BLGU-Carmen, EGIP Foundation, Obu-Manuvu Tribal Council of Elders and Leaders, and Bantay Bukid from Barangay Carmen and Barangay Tambobong posed a picture during the verification of Obu-Manuvu Bantay Bukid report about illegal logging, encroachments and other forest violations inside their ancestral forest. (Photo by EGIPFoundation).

Representative from PENRO-Diigos City maneuvers the conservation drone to cover the actual footage of the affected areas.

Representative from PENRO-Diigos City maneuvers the conservation drone to cover the actual footage of the affected areas.

The ancestral forest of the Indigenous Obu-Manuvu in Barangay Carmen is a tropical forest and known as critical habitat of globally endangered biodiversity such as the Philippine Eagle and the Philippine deer, and also important watersheds of the Panigan-Tamugan Rivers of Davao City but continuously threatened by agricultural expansion, timber poaching, illegal logging and encroachment by nonIndigenous prospectors into the domain. Deforestation and forest degradation results not only to the loss of breeding and foraging habitats and shelter for forest biodiversity but also puts people at economic and ecological risks. Deforestation puts the poor and disadvantaged Obu-Manuvu households at a greater risk, particularly from natural disasters and the losses in livelihood, lives, properties and health that it brings. As the traditional owners of the forests, the Indigenous ObuManuvu are the rightful stewards of the forests.

Photo taken by conservation drone covering some parcel of denuded ancestral forest in Sitio Tabak,Brgy.Carmen.

Photo taken by conservation drone covering some parcel of denuded ancestral forest in Sitio Tabak,Brgy.Carmen.

Since 2012, a total of 52 foot patrols by 410 forest guards who covered 196 kilometers during 482 hours was done after four (4) years of implementation. Further, three (3) cases filed for encroachment, three (3) cases filed for land grabbing, four (4) cases filed for apprehended illegal loggers/timber poachers, more or less 400 traps were removed and more than 100 hunters were informed. Unfortunately, some cases are still pending to be resolved. Communication and reports were also submitted to concerned agencies such as the DENR, NCIP, BLGU-Carmen, ObuManuvu Ancestral Domain Management Office (ADMO) and Office of the City Mayor.

However, with the conflict of existing government laws and policies and weak law enforcement, several forest and wildlife laws violations continue to exist and destroy the ancestral forest and the life of indigenous Obu-Manuvu who depend on it, thus creating conflict among their tribe cease also to subsist. One of the cases that the Obu-Manuvu forest guards have been working on until now was the encroachment and illegal occupation of non-IPs or even IPs without permission to the Unified ObuManuvu Tribal Council in Kalatong Area, part of the Obu-Manuvu ancestral forest in Barangay Carmen, that leads to forest clearing, kaingin, illegal logging and timber poaching.

Stone markers were found in the area ready to be used as boundary in each parcel of sold land.

Stone markers were found in the area ready to be used as boundary in each parcel of sold land.

On January 15, 2019, a team composed of DENR-XI Law Enforcement Division, PENRO-Davao Del Sur, CENRO-Davao City, PNP-Baguio, 3rd Infantry “Regardless of What Batallion”, 7th Infantry Division of Philippine Army, BLGU-Carmen, EGIP Foundation, Obu-Manuvu Tribal Council of Elders and Leaders, and Bantay Bukid from Barangay Carmen and Barangay Tambobong went to Sitio Tabak and Sitio Kalatong of Barangay Carmen to survey and verify the reported forest violations by the Obu-Manuvu forest guards of Barangay Carmen. The team witnessed the destruction brought by the encroachers and intruders into the ancestral forest and watersheds. More or less 100 hectares of forest was cleared, burned and occupied by several individuals in the area (more or less 100 houses) and still expanding. The team also saw some markers along the way which means that the news was true that the land was distributed among their members. We have several photos  and drone footage of the said illegal activities which supports the previous reports of Obu-Manuvu Bantay Bukid that will serve as evidence to the violators in the area. The team interviewed and interrogated some members of the illegal groups but they denied the illegal activities in the area which is a clear violation. They claimed that they have a documents that will show or as a proof that they owned the whole area which they inherit from their ancestors. Others also said that they don’t have any idea about the law and what they are doing was considered illegal and they just went there to confirm and see the parcel of land given/sold to them. Also attached below is the map to see the extent of forest destruction in the area.

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Forest Patrolling and Monitoring

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The Obu Manuvu Bantay Bukid with CENRO-Davao City staff and Forest Protection Officer Joshua Donato of EGIP Foundation pose during their regular monitoring and foot patrolling around their ancestral domain forest.

Forest clearing and illegal cutting of trees were observed in Kalatong area during the foot monitoring.

Forest clearing and illegal cutting of trees were observed in Kalatong area.

The Obu-Manuvu community through their 43 deputized Obu-Manuvu forest guards of DENR and City Government of Davao, continue their regular foot patrolling within their ancestral forest with more than 2000 hectares of tropical forest and reporting and taking action in case of violations like illegal logging, mining, poaching, etc. in coordination with the DENR and NCIP to protect their ancestral forest and known watersheds.

On August 21-23, 2018, ten (10) forest guards together with two (2) EGIPF staff were accompanied by two (2) representatives from CENRO-Davao in monitoring and patrolling their ancestral forest to personally visit the site after they received a news that there is a group of people that illegally cut the trees and establish a small village somewhere in Kalatong area.Indeed, the illegal activities were observed in the areas of Kalatong and Tabak- Carmen side, more or less 200 Has, such as forest clearing, illegal cutting of trees and timber harvesting and unauthorized building of structures. The area in AD where illegally cleared to make a ranch, was also visited. The forest guards were assisted by the CENRO staff in in gathering the needed data and information to investigate and file a case to the violators. 

Snare traps for small mammals were seen and removed during their actual monitoring and foot patrolling.

Snare traps for small mammals were seen and removed during their actual monitoring and foot patrolling.

In addition, a substantial number of traps for fauna such as Philippine deer, Philippine warty pig and other small mammals was observed during the monitoring period. Illegal logging, timber harvesting, and kaingin/deforestation are other rampant threats that was observed during the same time frame.  According to some forest guards, putting massive numbers of snare and goose traps is the traditional way of hunting forest animals as source of food or protein. However, since the actual monitoring and patrolling began, the forest guards informed the members of their community about the adverse effects of massive trapping, especially the effects on the existence of different wildlife, so trapping and hunting in the areas were eventually reduced. The magnitude of trapping described is not only wasteful but it is also poses a threat to the existence of different wildlife and a number of important species in their natural habitat.  Records of several wildlife getting trapped and killed have increased during the past two decades.

As of now, report was submitted to the DENR Region Office through CENRO Davao City, NCIP, Office of the City Mayor and to the Unified Obu-Manuvu Tribal Council of Leaders and Elders. Unfortunately, those cases are still pending to be resolved and we still heard the news that another group went to the same area to do the same illegal activities.

Stakeholder’s Consultation Meeting

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Koontayan ‘To Obu-Manuvu Eco-Cultural Adventure expressing the unique and genuine culture and assets of the Obu-manuvu tribe.

The “Koontayan ‘To Obu-Manuvu Eco-Cultural Adventure” is a community-based initiative of the Obu-Manuvu community in Sitio Karilongan, Brgy. Carmen, Baguio District, Davao City. It is a proposed project of the Obu Manuvu ICC in Brgy. Carmen as an alternative livelihood and part of the Community Development Plan which was created last 2012 with the facilitation of the Philippine Eagle Foundation and support  from EGIP Foundation in partnership with Obu-Manuvu Ancestral Domain Management Council, BLGU-Carmen, NCIP and the DENR. The main objective of the said initiative is to build a tourism destination in Davao City showcasing the Obu-Manuvu culture that will provide alternative livelihood to the community and able to sustain their forest protection and management project.In order to sustain the forest protection and management of their ancestral forest, other means need to be or should be put in place to compensate the environmental services that they do like the regular monthly monitoring and patrolling.

-  Datu joel Unad expresses his thoughts and  full support on the initiative.

Datu joel Unad expresses his thoughts and full support on the initiative.

For the past two months,the Obu-Manuvu community assisted by EGIP Foundation presented their initiative to different concerned agencies and project partners to earn support and possibly help them in acquiring legal actions to register the proposed project.The proposed project includes the establishment of some simple but attractive eco-friendly Obu-Manuvu structures called “Obu-Manuvu Village” at the top end of the community farms in Sitio Karilongan that will accommodate eco-culture tourists or visitors who want to spend the night and stay in the community and experience traditional and eco-friendly activities that the Obu-Manuvu community can offer. Besides the earlier mentioned nature attractions and activities, cultural activities will also be performed and native and some exotic foods of the community will be served that will attract eco-culture tourists/visitors who want a new experience and adventure in a helpful way both to the Obu-Manuvu indigenous community and to the environment.

However after some office presentations and scheduled site visits, several recommendations and suggestions from different partners and concerned agencies that are deem necessary in all aspects before the actual operation came-up . One  recommendation that usually come up is to conduct a consultation meeting with all stakeholders concerned. The objective of the said meeting is to ask consent and construct a general development plan for the whole project.

-   Retired Col. Lyndon Paniza of PSSCC expressing his thoughts regarding security issues in the area.

Retired Col. Lyndon Paniza of PSSCC expressing his thoughts regarding security issues in the area.

Last August 28, 2018, a stakeholder’s consultation meeting was held in Barangay Hall of Barangay Carmen, Baguio District, Davao City. The said meeting was spearheaded by the Obu-Manuvu community of Barangay Carmen and EGIP Foundation and participated by the representative from Public Safety and Security Command Center (PSSCC) of Davao City, Department of Tourism (DOT) XI, City Tourism Operation’s Office (CTOO), Environment Management Bureau- DENR XI, National Commission of Indigenous People (NCIP), the Barangay Council of Brgy. Carmen, the Obu-Manuvu Tribal Council of Elders and Leaders and the Sunrise Bridge Travel, a possible travel and tour agency partner of the community.

After the Obu-Manuvu community and the EGIP Foundation presented the project description, components and plans to the partners, the Sunrise Bridge Travel (SBT) presented the trends of tourism industry. Open forum and interactive discussions on the relevant issues concerned was then followed. Issues discussed was the barangay policies and existing laws on tourism; peace and order situation of the whole area and the location of the project, environmental and management issues and lastly, the tourism and management issues.  Participants was given time to give suggestions and recommendations based on their office requirements and policies that will be included in the general management plan.

- Photo with  Davao CTOO,  DOT XI, BLGU-Carmen and SBT Agency.

Photo with Davao CTOO, DOT XI, BLGU-Carmen and SBT Agency.

Transcript of the meeting were made and best practices and lessons learned was also summarized to make a general management plan of the project. The greatest concerned of most of the participants centered on the security angle and its immediate and long-term impact on the proposed project and the tourism potential of Carmen as the center of a tourism circuit for the area.

In the end, all participants was very supportive on the proposed community-based project.

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Project Validation and Site Visits

20180723_130904In connection with several meetings and presentation of the proposed community-based tourism project for Obu-Manuvu community in Barangay Carmen, Baguio District, Davao City, project site visits with partner agencies were conducted to have them an up-close view of the entire structures and activities of the project and to give suggestions on how to improve the site while the construction of the structures is still on progress. In addition, site visit for the validation of the Farm to Market Access Trail Project was also conducted.

Last Ju20180629_132956ne 29, 2018, Mr. Max Guenter of GIZ and NCIP visited the site with EGIP Foundation Incorporators Mr. Alec van Dierendonck, Mrs. Bing van Dierendonck and Mr. Wiebe van Dierendonck. Mr. Guenter is also a representative of the Schmitz Foundation, the funding partner of EGIP Foundation for Farm to Market Access Trail Project of the Obu-Manuvu community. Mainly, the objective of the visit is to actual site view and present to Mr. Guenter the output and outcomes of the project. In addittion, to introduce him the proposed Eco-cultural tourism initiative of the Obu-Manuvu by which would be a part of the proposal of EGIPF to seek funding support from Sch4mitz Foundation.

On the other hand, the Obu-Manuvu community welcomed their visitors from BLGU-Carmen headed by Hon. Alfredo Austral Sr. and his council, 3rd Infantry Battalion of Malagos District and Baguio District Police in their propose tribal village at the peak of Karilongan area last July 6, 2018. At the peak, a short program was prepared. Mr. Alec van Dierendonck, President and Mr. Wiebe van Rij, Vice President of EGIP foundation, gave a short message to briefly introduce the EGIP Foundation and its activities/project to Obu-Manuvu community. Also, in behalf of the Obu-Ma20180629_144141nuvu community, Bae Nilda Landim expresses her thoughts on the relevance of the project as well as appreciations for the active participations of the visitors. Furthermore, the community welcomed their visitors with their traditional welcome dance while giving traditional beads. Finally, the short program ended with a small feast out of traditional and local foods prepared by the tribe.

Another visit for the proposed community based tourism project was done last July 20-21, 2018 with the Sunrise Bridge Travel Agency owned by Mr. and Ms. Quiogue. Sunrise Bridge Travel Agency is the partner travel and tour age20180629_131155ncy of the Obu-Manuvu community. The couple experienced an overnight stay in the tribal village where native foods and drinks were served. They also experienced the birdwatching and forest walk activity early in the morning (two of the highlight activities of the Obu-Manuvu Eco-Cultural Adventure), witnessed the sunrise view in Bollad ‘To Manama and visited the farms of the tribe. Photo shooting were also done to be used in marketing and promoting tours. Moreover, last July 23, 2018, the Department of Tourism XI headed by RED Antonio Blanco also visited the site.

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Meetings and Presentations of the Proposed Eco-Cultural Tourism for Obu-Manuvu

The pristine water in Gawoy Creek inside the Obu-Manuvu Ancestral Forest.

The pristine water in Gawoy Creek inside the Obu-Manuvu Ancestral Forest.

The area of the Obu-Manuvu community is characterized by an abundance of natural endowments; pristine forests with a huge diversity of flora and fauna, fast flowing streams, creeks and meandering rivers, cascading waterfalls, etc. The newly improved farm-to-market trail passes some excellent bird watching spots and outstanding viewpoints; an iron-made hanging bridge across the clear water Panigan River and a fascinating scenery on top of community farm area in Karilongan overlooking the whole of Barangay Carmen and some part of the Davao metropolis and the Davao Gulf. One can experience the breath of fresh air and the smell of nature as well as the unique and genuine culture of Obu-Manuvu community. The existence of all these “wonders” and the potential benefits for the Obu-Manuvu community and the natural environment they protect, are the reasons why this Eco-Cultural tourism plan was made.

The plan is to establish some simple but attractive eco-friendly Obu-Manuvu structures called “Obu Manuvu Village” at the top end of the community farms in Karilongan, where besides the earlier mentioned nature attractions, cultural activities will be performed that will attract eco-tourist/visitors who want a new experience and adventure in a helpful way both to the Obu Manuvu indigenous community and to the environment.The proposed Eco-Cultural tourism project is an initiative of Obu Manuvu community in Carmen in partnership with the Obu Manuvu Ancestral Domain Management Council, BLGU-Carmen, NCIP and the DENR as part of the 10-years Memorandum of Agreement and with support of the EGIP Foundation and some other project partners.

PIT MEETING: Intoduction of the Proposed Tourism Project for Obu-manuvu Community to the the Obu-amnuvu Tribal Council of Elders and Leaders

Series of meetings and presentations were made for the whole month of June in order to acquire suggestions and recommendations and to get consent to partner agencies. Firstly, the project was presented to the Obu-Manuvu Tribal Council headed by Datu Luis Lambac and his council, Datu Joel Unad and datu George Mandahay as part of the Project Implementation Team ( PIT) Meeting. The objective of the meeting was to give an update of the on-going and future project/plans for the community. The proposed community based tourism was also introduced to the tribal council. The three (3) Datus were very thankful for the financial support of EGIP Foundation about initiative of the Obu-Manuvu community and as usual, they also gave their full support and positive thoughts on the project.

project.   THE FUTURE PARTNERS: Group pictures after the successful presentation of the Proposed Eco-Cultural Tourism project.

THE FUTURE PARTNERS: Group pictures after the successful presentation of the Proposed Eco-Cultural Tourism project.

The proposed project was then presented to Department of Tourism Regional Office and City Tourism Operation’s Office last June 4 &5, 2018. These two offices hold a major role to the project with regards to giving assistance in promotion and marketing. They will also facilitate the capacity development of Tourism stakeholders and key players through the provision of appropriate capability training. They will also assist in setting-up of systems for the efficient implementation of the Management and Operational Plan. Also, they will be part of the monitoring and evaluation team who will assess the project, quarterly and annually. Aside from the natural, unique and genuine culture of the Obu-manuvu tribe as well as the eco-structures established in the Obu-Manuvu village, the proposed project was identified as great potential to invite both local and international tourists. But aside from availability of infrastructure and other facilities needed by tourists, safety is a major concern of both offices.

THE PEACE AND ORDER MEETING: Datu Unad expresses his thoughts about the role of the IP s on the peace and order development.

THE PEACE AND ORDER MEETING: Datu Unad expresses his thoughts about the role of the IP s on the peace and order development.

To address the concern about security matters, meeting was held at Barangay hall of Carmen last June 8, 2018. It was participated by the BLGU-Carmen headed by Hon. Alfredo Austral Sr. and his council,  Public Safety and Security Command Center (PSSCC), Baguio District Police and Philippine Army of the 3rd Infantry Battalion of Malagos District, Davao City.  They are part of the monitoring and evaluation team of the project and primarily their role is to provide safety and security to the guests/tourists. The main objective of the meeting is to establish and implement a proper channel of communication with the project management and their office especially with regards to peace andsecurity related matters. The meeting ended with a promising messages from 3rd IB and Baguio District Police Office that they will give their full support in securing the whole area covered by the project and will be active in all activities of the proposed project.

Overall, with the support and recommendations of different partner agencies, the proposed Koontayan ‘To Obu-Manuvu Eco-Cultural Adventure was push through.   The Obu-manuvu community is very excited with their new project as it will not only provide incentive to them, but for most, it preserves their genuine cultural resources. As of this writing, more or less 60% of the eco-structures were done and now in partnership with one great travel agency for promotion and marketing both in local and international tourist.

Pre-Membership Education Seminar (PMES) for Cooperative Registration

GROUP PICTURE: The official 35 members of the proposed Kolivuungan 'To Obu-Manuvu Marketing Cooperative together with Mrs. Geralyn Lumawag after the seminar.

GROUP PICTURE: The official members of the proposed Kolivuungan ‘To Obu-Manuvu Marketing Cooperative together with Mrs. Geralyn Lumawag after the seminar.

THE PARTICIPANTS: Active members from Obu-Mamuvu of carmen, BLGU-Carmen and EGIPF staff.

THE PARTICIPANTS: Active members from Obu-Manuvu of Carmen, BLGU-Carmen and EGIPF staff.

Last May 8, 2018, a Pre-Membership Education Seminar (PMES) was held at Barangay Hall of Carmen, Baguio District, Davao City and facilitated by the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA)  representative Mrs. Geralyn C. Lumawag. The objective of this initiative is to have a legal business entity and economic sustainability within the community. This initiative started when the Obu Manuvu community came up with the decision to expand the impacts of the project by continuing/reviving their cooperative. Members decided to contribute a small amount of Php. 200.00 as starting capital to reset and reestablish the small store on retailing general merchandize (sarisari). The store will still sell basic commodities (sari-sari), including rice, canned goods and other food stuff and later on products/handicrafts for the eco-tourism initiative of the project. The intention with the coop store is to become the source of food for the families of the forest guards while they are out in the forest doing patrols and other project related activities. This time though they will limit selling on credit to a very minimum level as past experience shows the unsustainability of selling on credit because of credit sales in the past. The initial available working capital was Php.20,000.00 and was reduced to Php.4,000.00 with some groceries, then eventually razed by fire after the community transfer it to Datu Landim. The community also resolved to have future catering services during community meetings and workshops organized through the cooperative whereby profits will be added to the capital share of their cooperative.

THE LECTURER: Mrs. Geralyn Lumawag explains the importance of setting up a cooperative.

THE LECTURER: Mrs. Geralyn Lumawag explains the importance of setting up a cooperative.

The training was required to all prospective member of a primary cooperative like the “Kolivuungan ‘To Obu Manuvu Marketing Cooperative”, a marketing cooperative that the Obu Manuvu community in Carmen want to establish. The seminar was attended by 35 participants from Obu-Manuvu Community of Carmen headed by Datu Paulino M. Landim Sr., EGIP Foundation staff and some council of the Barangay Carmen. The seminar discussed the significance of establishing a cooperative, types of cooperative, the role of the members, committees and board of directors, as well as explained further the purpose of share capital and membership fees and finally, the list of requirements needed for registration.

Deputation Training of Bantay Gubat of Brgy. Carmen, Baguio District, Davao City

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 Participants from BLGU-Carmen and Obu-manuvu Forest Guards, together with the EGIP foundation staffs and DENR XI representatives, flaunt their certificates after completing the 2-days Deputation Training

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources under the Biodiversity Management Bureau is the lead agency for the conservation, development and protection of wildlife resources. The Deputation of Environment and Natural Resources Officer (DENRO) is mandated under the provision particularly Section 30 of RA 9147, otherwise known as the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act and its Implementing Rules and Regulations (Joint DENR-DA PCSD AO No. 01, 2004).

- Sir Brine Dumdum of    DENR XI shares some    surveillance techniques to forest guards.

Sir Brine Dumdum ofDENR XI shares some surveillance techniques to forest guards.

Deputation Training is a requirement pursuant to Section 30, Rule 30.1 to be provided to selected volunteers to provide them with the basic and required knowledge and skills and subsequently the necessary authority to accomplish the task on basic and wildlife enforcement activities. It would also ensure public participation on the enforcement of existing wildlife and other related laws. The training will also clarify the different roles and responsibilities of the team on the enforcement of wildlife and environment laws.

The objective of the program was to train the selected Bantay Gubat on the basic knowledge of wildlife laws, rules and regulation, CITES provision among others, to train and orient them with the basic training in the preparations of reports, affidavits sworn statement, seizure and turn over receipt, inventory report, filing of complaint in court, inspection procedure, safety, surveillance, smuggling techniques, methods of concealments, documentation of frauds and detection of falsified or invalid documents and prosecution on wildlife cases and to train and award them the official status as Deputized Environment and Natural Resources Officer (DENRO).

- Datu Lipatuan Joel Unad inspires his co-tribe the relevance of the program

Datu Lipatuan Joel Unad inspires his co-tribe the relevance of the program

The 2-days training last January 25-26, 2018 was attended by 43 Obu-Manuvu forest guards (bantay gubat) of Carmen led by their tribal chieftain, Datu Paulino Landim, 7 representatives from BLGU-Carmen – Brgy. Sec. Jean Delina, Mr. Joel Corrales, Mr. Nilo Empinado, Mr. Renato Rabe, Mr. Bonifacio Ruba, Mr. Richard Auxillo and Mrs. Jenilyn Verallo and facilitated by EGIP Foundation staffs: Mr. Joshua L. Donato and Ms. Kristine Nova P. Macado through DENR XI team:  Mr. Demosthenes H. Amaga, OIC Chief, Surveillance & Intelligence Section, Mrs. Josefina B. Limbaga, Mrs. Emma P. Pechon, Ms. Conteza P. Arao-Arao, Mr. Norhamen S. Abdulkadir and Mr. Brine Dumdum.

Datu Lipatuan Joel Unad, member of Obu-Manuvu Tribal Elders and Leaders was also present during the opening ceremony of the program. He gave a short message expressing his gratitude to different parties facilitating the said activity and left an inspirational message to his co-tribe about the relevance of the program.

-  Bantay bukid demonstrate how to arrest an illegal loggers

Forest guards demonstrate how to arrest an illegal loggers

A range of teaching methodologies were employed throughout the program in order to meet its objectives. These includes presentation to explain information and ideas to deepen the understanding of the participants on Law on Forestry (PD 705), Chainsaw Act of 2002 (R.A 9175), Wildlife Resource Conservation and Protection Act ( R.A 9147), Executive No. 23, Permits and Transport Documents Familiarization, Basic Skills on Measurement and Scaling, Basic Intelligence and Surveillance technique and Procedure on Administrative Adjudication.

-  representatives from BLGU-Carmen take the post test exam for DENRO

Representatives from BLGU-Carmen take the post test exam for DENRO

Interactive discussion was done to obtain participants’ views and opinions. Group works for demonstrations and role playing on how to arrest properly the illegal activities, given different cases, were also exercised during the program. The session was highly interactive and participatory to enhance learning and strengthen partnership.

At the end of the program, a post test was given to participants not only to measure the program’s value and effectiveness, but also to determine passers to officially state as Deputy Environment and Natural Resources Officer (DENRO).