Becoming a Forest Patroller and a Wildland Firefighter: A Malaybalay Experience

The City Government of Malaybalay headed by City Mayor Florencio T. Flores, Jr. through the City Environment and Natural Resources Office led by City ENR Officer Maria Anita L. Fernandez has successfully conducted the two-day training and seminar for the formation of City Forest Patrol Teams last March 9-10, 2021.

The activity was participated in by 47 aspiring forest patrollers in Malaybalay City coming from different barangays. The training started in the early morning with an Endurance/Agility Test at the Kaamulan Grounds, and followed by a whole-day lecture proper at the D’ Garden’s Party Venue, Brgy. 1. A mock forest fire suppression activity was then conducted on the second day in order to assess the ability of the participants and to be assured of their competence once they become official forest patrollers in Malaybalay City, more importantly engaging the arduous work of wildland firefighting.

The trainors of the activity are Mr. Zaldy dela Mance, Fire Boss and Mr. Elmer dela Cerna who are currently employed as Anti-illegal Logging Task Force with the AILTF personnel of the City ENRO. They were also supported by the former City ENRO Anti-illegal Logging Task Force personnel (Kaamulan Hotshots) led by Mr. Rehum Asiñero, now connected at the BENRO Office. Mr. Earl Domingo, an IT Specialist of PENRO Bukidnon also gave a lecture on the biodiversity monitoring as the forest patrollers will be using the LAWIN technique on biodiversity monitoring during their reece hikes/foot patrol.

Every year, intentional forest fires pose a threat to the timberlands/forestlands in Malaybalay City (A City Within the Forest) especially during the hot summer season. The reece hikes aims to deter this illegal activity and protect our remaining forest resources.

By: Jessie G. Suson, Supervising Environmental Management Specialist, City ENRO