DENR-Region 10

CDO flooding not caused by deforestation, says DENR Region 10 office

CDO flooding 2017

 

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 10 office has belied reports that unabated logging and deforestation caused the recent massive flooding in Cagayan de Oro City and other areas in Northern Mindanao.

DENR Region 10 Director Ruth Tawantawan said it was not accurate to blame deforestation for the flooding when the regional office has put in place preventive and corrective measures to keep the region's forests intact, foremost of which is a massive reforestation effort undertaken during the past five years.

"We can proudly say that we are doing well to safeguard our environment and we remain steadfast with our commitment to make the communities happy with our work," Tawantawan said.

Noting that the headwater of Cagayan de Oro City emanates from Mt. Kitanglad Range Natural Park and Mt. Kalatungan Range Natural Park in Bukidnon, Tawantawan said the province has "very high elevation against the city and the slope is very steep."

"High volume of water will flow rapidly to the cities (Cagayan de Oro and Iligan) during rainfall, thus it is important to have clean and unobstructed waterways," she pointed out.

Tawantawan reported that the DENR 10 was able to rehabilitate over 97,000 hectares of forestlands with close to 80 million seedlings of tree species under the government's National Greening Program from 2011 to 2016.

She said Region 10 remains off the list of areas with illegal logging hotspots due to intensified forest protection campaign initiated by the DENR regional office.

The DENR 10 has mobilized communities and volunteers to help in the said campaign, which resulted in the filing of a total of 60 illegal logging cases in court last year.

The regional office is also in charge of managing 9 priority protected areas, namely: Mt. Kitanglad and Mt. Kalatungan Range Natural Parks in Bukidnon; Mt. Timpoong – Hibok-Hibok Natural Monument in Camiguin; Initao-Libertad Protected Landscape and Seascape; Mt. Balatukan Range Natural Park and Mimbilisan Protected Landscape in Misamis Oriental; Mt. Inayawan Natural Park in Lanao del Norte; and Mt. Malindang Range Natural Park and Baliangao Protected Landscape and Seascape in Misamis Occidental.

The conservation and protection of Cagayan de Oro River Basin is a major concern of the DENR 10, having organized the Cagayan de Oro River Basin Management Council (CDORBMC) in 2010.

One of the active management councils in the country today, CDORBMC is a multi-sectoral group of concerned individuals, agencies and institutions who dedicate themselves in protecting, preserving, rehabilitating and managing the river basin, which has a total land area of 137,934 hectares. ###