Presidential aspirant and Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso on Monday, Nov. 15 said he would push for a massive rehabilitation, recovery, and reforestation of the country’s denuded forest to mitigate the impacts of climate change.
Domagoso, along with his running mate Dr. Willie Ong and Aksyon Demokratiko senatorial slate, attended the stakeholders meeting of the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) at the Mimaropa Regional Office in Naujan town in Oriental Mindoro.
In his speech, the Manila mayor bared his plan to tap the indigenous communities to directly manage the rehabilitation and protection of forests if he is elected as the country’s next president.
“For decades, government has borrowed and spent billions of pesos in government-led reforestation programs that has had limited success because of the absence of strong support and engagement with LGUs, communities and private sector,” Domagoso said.
“It’s time that we harness our people’s strength to manage the resources that God has bestowed on us. Dahil ako’y may tiwala sa Diyos, dapat magtiwala din tayo sa tao na nilalang niya),” he added.
Farm school owners, farmers, cooperative leaders, as well as the Mangyan students from the Mary Help of Christian School, were also present in the ATI meeting.
The Aksyon Demokratiko standard bearer said he believes that recovering, rehabilitating, and protecting the country’s natural resources are investments in the natural capital assets.
In his visit in the town of Pinamalayan, Domagoso reiterated his plan on pursuing a massive rehabilitation, restoration, and recovery of denuded forestlands.
“Dito sa lalawigan ng Mindoro, malaki ang papel ng mga Mangyan at iba pang kautubo sa lalawigan para bantayan ang ating mga kagubatan laban sa illegal logging (Here in Mindoro province, the Mangyans and other indigenous people in the province have a big role to play in guarding our forests against illegal logging),” he said.
He then assured that he will make sure they will receive support from the national government and the LGUs.
Domagoso also stressed the need to pursue a tri-lateral cooperation among the LGUs, indigenous peoples, and local communities as this will help in protecting and preserving the 4.5 million hectares of the key terrestrial, coastal, and marine biodiversity conservation areas.