BUTUAN CITY – The approval by the House Committee on Higher and Technical Education of the bill that seeks the creation of a forest study center for a state university here was welcomed by Agusan del Norte First District Representative Lawrence Fortun.
House Bill No. 4490, authored by Fortun, seeks the establishment of the Forest Studies and Development Center (FSDC) for the Caraga State University (CSU).
The House Committee on Higher and Technical Education approved HB No. 4490 on December 2, Fortun said in a statement on Monday (December 9).
Fortun said HB No. 4490 aims to provide support to the government’s efforts to conserve and sustainably use the valuable forest resources in Caraga Region.
He added that the establishment of FSDC at CSU City will also complement the Sustainable Forest Management Bill that he authored and was also recently approved by the Committee on Natural Resources at the House.
He also noted that Caraga Region is considered the “timber corridor” of the Philippines and produces 70 percent of the country’s log output and is home to most forest species endemic to the country.
“The FSDC should be right where the forests are, that is, in Caraga Region, hence CSU is most strategic,” Fortun said.
In his explanatory note upon filing the bill, Fortun emphasized that the creation of FSDC will provide vital research support for the restoration, protection, and sustainable management of the Philippine forests.
The FSDC aims to develop and strengthen technical partnerships with relevant government agencies, non-government organizations, academic institutions, and other stakeholders in the field of forestry.
Fortun said the center would also strengthen the research component and the publication of papers and research findings in the field of forestry and to train and advance the technical, scientific and management skills of forestry professionals to ensure the integrity of the forests in the country.