Emma M. Germano1, Emmanuel G. Tan2, Eduardo O. Mangaoang3 and Edwin Cedamon3
Staff in six Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices (CENROs) – four in Leyte Province, three in Southern Leyte Province and one in Biliran – were interviewed to establish baseline information on tree registration. In general, the rate of tree registration was found to be low, except in CENRO Maasin, where during 1997 to 2006 a total of 2799 tree farms were registered, covering an aggregate area of 2807 ha and with 1,292,495 trees registered. The highest number of tree farms registered in CENRO Maasin took place in 2004, when a total of 531 were registered, covering an area of 373 ha. Measures and strategies practiced by this CENRO to promote tree registration include: conducting an information, education and communication (IEC) campaign including distribution of extension materials; establishing a link between farmers and buyers in marketing products; and encouraging barangay officials to disseminate tree registration information. Factors leading to the low tree registration rate in Leyte and Biliran CENROs include: long distance between farms and CENR offices; weak tenure (farms under timberland status); inefficient processing of the registration documents; absence of the officer-in-charge of tree registration during farmer visits to Department of Environment and Natural Resources offices; land under common ownership; and farmers unaware about the tree registration process. Suggestions by respondents to improve tree registration include: regularly conducting IEC activities including distribution of extension material, supported by necessary funding; hiring of additional personnel for this purpose, to be assigned in every municipality; enhancing the timber market network; deputizing barangay officials as Environment and Natural Resources Officers (ENROs) to conduct tree inventory, authorized by municipal officials to collect Tree Inventory Certification.
Keywords: IEC campaign, timber marketing, secure legal right