The Project advocates for the passage of the sustainable forest management (SFM) bill by the Congress that seeks to amend the 42-year old Presidential Decree 705 enacted on May 19, 1975 otherwise known as the Revised Forestry Code of the Philippines. In this context, SFM is designed to promote the sustainable use of forestlands through the wise utilization of forestlands and its resources.
The SFFI has been working closely with the House of Representatives’ Committee on Natural Resources in the review and evaluation of the seven versions of the sustainable forest management (SFM) Bills that have been filed by various legislators since the mid-90s. According to the said Committee, there is a need to integrate the filed bills and submit a consolidated version. However, the SFFI intends not only to integrate the filed bills but also to update its contents based on the collective position and information gathered from other stakeholders. The expected result from this is a national policy that effectively promotes forestland reforestation and/or restoration, poverty alleviation, sustainable production of timber and non-timber products, biodiversity enhancement, disaster risk reduction, and contribution to the country’s nationally-determined contribution on tempering climate change.
In August 2018, the first reading of the submitted draft PSFM bill to the House of Representatives' Committee on Natural Resources was witnessed by the members of the Committee on Natural Resources and the Technical Working Group (TWG) of PSFM Bill (SFFI, UN-FAO, HFI, DENR, FMB, and other stakeholders). Potential sponsor-legislators from the said committee gave their comments and suggestions to further improve the bill.
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December 2020 -- The SFFI National Council President (and concurrent Project Leader to the Project “Advocacy Towards the Passage of the SFM Bill – Phase 2”) Forester Tommy Valdez met with DENR Officials and selected stakeholders to discuss the proposed revisions to the SFMA --- filed as Substitute House Bill No. 8179, for submission to the some Legislator-Sponsors.
The House of Representatives approves House Bill No. 8179 or the proposed Sustainable Forest Management Act during its Third Reading held February 01, 2021. Said Substitute Bill consolidated four House Bills: 106, 1471, 3061, and 4891.
“CARAGA stakeholders’ support for the SFM Bill is overwhelming,” shared by SFFI National Council President Tommy Valdez during the SFM Bill Rollout and Consultation Forum for CARAGA Region in collaboration with DENR-CARAGA and SFFI-CARAGA Regional Council.
With the rollouts across the Visayas and Mindanao regions in full blast, support for the SFM Bills has been gaining momentum.
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