Coordination was continuously made with the HOR enabling SFFI to get a copy of the Substitute Bill (HB 8179) immediately after the Committee Report was completed and was submitted for Plenary discussion. This enabled the SFFI to consult with some senior Foresters on the Substitute Bill and generate recommendations and/or additional revisions that may be submitted and raised in the Plenary through a sponsor legislator. Salient recommendations are the inclusion/categorization of secondary forests as forest production zones, inclusion of assisted natural regeneration among satrategies, and establishment of forestry industrial economic zones. However, caution was likewise recommended to ensure that this will not hamper the passage of Bill since this can filed as policy enhancements after the Bill is approved. Please note that Substitute House Bill 8179 was a consolidation of four Bills filed in the House of Representatives during the 18th Congress specifically HBs 106, 1471, 3061, and 4891. HB 106, which was the refiled version of HB 9088 (that was approved by the House of Representatives in the 17th Congress) became the core document with some inputs coming from the other three Bills.
While the additional revisions being proposed were not included in the Substitute Bill 8179, the SFFI and other forestry stakeholders were still pleased that the SFM Bill passed the third and final reading by the House of Representatives and was endorsed to the Senate. (See Annex 16).