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Environment volunteers mobilized to protect forest

Capitol photo

About 200 community-based environment volunteers were mobilized by the provincial government to intensify the protection and conservation of the remaining forest covers in Negros Occidental in collaboration with the 303rd Infantry Brigade.

Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson led the oath-taking ceremonies of the volunteers in San Carlos and Sagay cities Sunday, October 17, in the presence of mayors from the first and second districts and 303rd Brigade Commander Gen. Inocencio Pasaporte.

The same activity was conducted at the Silay Civic Center for volunteers of the 3rd district on Monday, a press release from the Capitol said.

The province has set aside a P1,500 incentive for each volunteer per month starting July this year, which will be released within October.

In his speech, the governor lauded the effort of the volunteers in the restoration and protection of the remaining forest covers as a driving force to ensure that watershed areas are secured to produce a steady supply of water in the community.

“This enhances the capacity of the forest to meet the ecological, socio-cultural and economic needs of the community in promoting governance strategies that include participatory and community–based approaches to prevent the further degradation of forest and surrounding areas,” Lacson said.

The creation of the community-based volunteers based in the hinterland boundaries of Districts 1, 2, and 3 aim to intensify massive environmental campaign under the supervision of the 79th Infantry Battalion, 303rd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army.

Some of these volunteers were tapped to conduct regular monitoring and foot patrol operations within their communities.

The activity is part of Lacson’s commitment under ABANSE Negrense development agenda through the Provincial Integrated Water Security Program to strengthen sustainable development, empower communities, forest protection, and increase ecological awareness, the press release said.*

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