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Cagayan de Oro watersheds to be preserved under rain forest conversion plan

Vol. XXII, No. 127 [ BusinessWorld Online ]

Thursday, January 29, 2009 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY — The city’s watershed areas of roughly 3,000 hectares would be preserved and protected under a Palace-approved plan to convert them into rain forests, Mayor Constantino G. Jaraula told local media.

He added the proposal was approved by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo during her visit here last week.

Mr. Jaraula said the city’s reforestation program and total log ban policy would be ineffective if cutting trees for firewood use would still be allowed.

He added the government must prohibit cutting trees to be used as alternative fuel.

Mr. Jaraula said residents in watershed areas whose livelihood depend on firewood gathering will receive "honorarium" from the local government if they shift their activities to become tree planters and forest guards, and they would be covered by the government’s emergency employment program.

The city’s remaining watershed areas are in the following villages: Dansolihon, Tignapoloan, Mambuaya, Tagpangi, Tuburan, Taglimao and Tumpagon.

Local officials said reforestation activities would minimize the occurrence of flash floods that caused widespread damaged in the city early this month. — Penny Lyn P. Cunanan


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