The SFFI PMT has written Senator Emmanuel “Manny” D. Pacquiao for a presentation of the House-approved Substitute Bill (together with recommended enhancements) on January 4, 2021. A confirmation from his Office was made (through text message to President Tom Valdez) of the meeting scheduled on January 20, 2021. However, the said meeting was re-schedule to February 3, and then re-scheduled for a date yet to be confirmed due to urgent concerns.
In the course of coordination, the SFFI was informed that the SCENRCC opts to entertain Bill proposals directly from Senators rather than from third party organizations like the SFFI. In this regard, the SFFI is preparing letters to be sent to members of the Senate Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Climate Change (SCENRCC) namely Cynthia A. Villar (Chairperson), Francis “Tol” N. Tolentino, Pia S. Cayetano (Vice-Chairpersons), Maria Lourdes Nancy S. Binay, Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, Imee R. Marcos, Emmanuel “Manny” D. Pacquiao, Joel Villanueva, Manuel “Lito” M. Lapid, Richard J. Gordon, Christopher Lawrence T. Go, Sherwin “Win” Gatchalian, Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., Ralph G. Recto, Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, Risa Hontiveros, Leila M. De Lima (Members), Juan Miguel “Migz” F. Zubiri, and Franklin M. Drilon (Ex-officio members).
On December 9, 2020, the SFFI was invited in a meeting called by the SCENRCC as Resource Group on the series of flooding experienced by the country in the second half of 2020. During the meeting, the SFFI President Tommy Valdez took the opportunity to manifest its position and advocacy towards the passage of the SFM Bill as a long-term solution to flooding, poverty, and depleting forest cover. Senator Villar recognized the manifestation and requested that it be submitted together with the copy of the SFM Bill. Hence, Forester Valdez submitted the Substitute Bill No. 8179 with enhancements to include Forest Industrial Economic Zones (FIEZ) and the inclusion of secondary forests in forest production zones. (See Annex 34).