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Possibility of giving portion of watershed to farmers proposed

() - June 15, 2009 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The City Council is asking officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to study the possibility of giving a portion of the watershed area to farmers in four mountain barangays to settle an ongoing conflict between them and retired police general Tiburcio Fusilero.

During the council’s executive session last Monday, farmers of barangays Tabunan, Pung-ol-Sibugay, Taptap and Tagbao asked that they be allowed to continue tilling their farms even if these are situated inside the 504-hectare area covered by the reforestation project being spearheaded by Fusilero.

Fusilero is undertaking the project in the four mountain barangays through a Memorandum of Agreement with DENR through then secretary Antonio Cereles.

But the farmers had since demanded that the MOA be revoked because, considering that Fusilero is no longer in the active service. The MOA, however, does not specify that the agreement would be revoked once Fusilero leaves government service.

Councilor Nestor Archival, chairman of council’s committee on environment asked DENR Regional Executive Director Leonardo Sibbaluca to speed up the investigation into the conflict and to come up with possible administrative remedies.

The case is still pending before the Central Cebu Protected Landscape.

“It is suggested that the CCPL shall facilitate for speedy disposition of the controversy and to call all concerned parties for a dialogue to tackle all administrative remedies provided by law for the resolution of the matter,” Archival said. 

Archival said one of the best solutions is to allow the farmers to continue tilling the lands they are presently tilling and to organize themselves and coordinate with his committee in formulating programs for the preservation of the environment. — Rene U. Borromeo/JMO (THE FREEMAN)

ANTONIO CERELES CENTRAL CEBU PROTECTED LANDSCAPE CITY COUNCIL COUNCILOR NESTOR ARCHIVAL DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES FUSILERO MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT REGIONAL EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR LEONARDO SIBBALUCA RENE U TAPTAP AND TAGBAO TIBURCIO FUSILERO
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