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Binahaan watershed preservation, protection is everybody's concern

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A comprehensive information campaign with foresters as resource persons was recently conducted by the Leyte Metropolitan Water District on Forest Protection at Barangay Candagara, Dagami, Leyte.
Dubbed Barangayan, the campaign is a continuing effort of the water district to keep upland communities living within the Binahaan Watershed aware of the importance of protecting and conserving the remaining forest.
LMWD's Watershed Protection & Management Office spearheaded the activity with speakers coming from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources offices and from the Energy Development Corporation.
Laws relative to the management and protection of the watershed including the protection of wildlife and fishes living therein were discussed during the Barangayan.
Speakers from Community Environment and Natural Resources (CENRO, Palo) included forester Antonio S. Genoguin Jr. who talked about the National Greening Program of government.
Forester Wilfredo Lacambra explained Executive Order (E.O.) No. 23 that mandates a moratorium on the cutting and harvesting of timber or any other forest products in natural and residual forest, and Republic Act No. 9175 otherwise known as Chainsaw Act of 2002.
Forester Dionesio Magbanua of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO, Palo) discussed the salient features of the Forestry Code of the Philippines.
Forester Angel Rosales of the Watershed Management Department of Energy Development Corporation (EDC) imparted some of their company's programs such as "Tree for Food," "Tree for Life," as well as their livelihood programs for upland families in barangays Lake Danao & Cabintan, Ormoc City. He also explained the National Integrated Protected Areas System by virtue of which Binahaan Watershed was declared as protected forest reserve as part of Geothermal Reservation Area.
Forester Michael Suyom of LMWD gave the district's watershed management & protection programs as well as the office's alternative livelihood programs for upland communities, the latter being mostly dependent on timbers and other forest products as their sources of livelihood.
Meanwhile, Ma. Teresa D. Pascua, Public Relations Officer of LMWD presented the water district's profile giving emphasis on the sad fate of Tigbao River -- one of the former raw water sources of LMWD located in Brgy. Tigbao, Tacloban City. Said river was abandoned by the district in the late 70's due to the deterioration of its water quality and water yield as a consequence of the destruction of its watershed. "If we will not protect Binahaan Watershed same thing might happen to the Binahaan River," Pascua said.
The Binahaan Watershed irrigates 6,317 hectares of farmland and is the water source of the Leyte Metropolitan Water District of Region VIII providing potable water to the municipalities of Pastrana, Santa Fe, Palo, Tanauan,Tolosa,Tabon-Tabon, Dagami, and Tacloban City. -PIA
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Last Modified: 2014-Mar-29 03.42.13 UTC +0800