June 2011

Bukidnon Environment Declaration 2008


HEREBY COMMIT to undertake the following:

Act favorably on the recommendations of the 6 break-up groups, as follow:


  • Identify & declare community watershed in the Local Government Units (municipality/city) in partnership with Department of Environment and Natural Resources;
  • Stabilize legal easement through the planting of fruit trees, bamboo and other species with economic value by concerned adjoining owners with substantial support from the national government agencies and LGUs;
  • Strict law enforcement against any form of environmental destruction in partnership with national and local government agencies and communities (i.e. ban on aerial chemical spraying in large scale plantation);
  • Intensify the environmental communication and education campaign in all levels of society;
  • institutionalize Mt. Kalatungan as Protected Area through congressional action;
  • provide alternative eco-friendly livelihood to upland settlers;.
  • recommend amendments to Section 68 & 69 of Presidential Decree 705, as amended (increasing the bail and penalty);
  • fast track through an informed decision –making processes the designation of the initially identified areas for reservation (watershed, protected area);
  • enhance coordination on the implementation of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act, National Integrated Protected Areas System, Local Government Code, and other similar related laws;
  • identify important biodiversity conservation areas within the Area of Responsibility of the LGUs (barangay, city/municipal); and
  • regulate the entry/expansion of investments to conform to the local land use plan and other related legislations.


  • Creation of a multi-sectoral provincial ecotourism committee through an Executive Order of the Provincial Governor under the Provincial Development Council whose functions include;
    • Undertake a situational assessment and mapping in partnership with the Local Government Units of Bukidnon of the potential ecotourism destinations in the province and giving due course to social and institutional analysis of the area; and
    • Spearhead the preparation of a Bukidnon ecotourism master plan based on generally accepted principles of participatory planning and ecotourism development that is guided by the National Ecotourism Strategy of the Philippines (2002) whose pillars of development call for the management of natural and cultural resources in sustainable manner, environmental education and awareness, empowerment of local communities, and sustainable ecotourism products.


  • Restoration & Rainforestation
    • Study the options for tenured areas (Industrial Forest Management Area, Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title, Community Based Forest Management Area, Pasture, Integrated Social Forestry, Forest Land Grazing Lease Agreement, Private plantations) using Carbon sequestration credits for its financial requirements, in lieu of timber harvesting.
  • Ecological Solid Waste Management
    • Assess the constraint of some LGUs who failed to comply the formulation of Integrated Solid Waste Management Plans;
    • Establish Material Recovery Facility at Municipal level; and
    • Install composting facilities (vermi-composting) at Barangay level.
  • Co-management of untenured forestlands/wetlands in Bukidnon.
    • LGUs to enter into co-management of forestlands/wetlands with DENR on appropriate sites as per Joint Memorandum Circular 98-01 (Manual Procedures for DENR-DILG-LGU Partnership on devolved and other related forest management functions), Joint Memorandum Circular 2003-01(Strengthening and institutionalizing the DENR-DILG-LGU partnership on devolved and other forest management functions), and Executive Order 606 (Pursuing sustainable upland development anchoring on food, wood and non wood security and economic productivity and providing mechanics for its implementation and for other purposes).
  • Mineral Resources
    • Continue advocacy program on responsible mineral resources utilization;
    • Updating LGUs on their roles on mineral resource utilization applications;
    • Require the Provincial Legal Office to come up with a summary of pertinent laws – IPRA, Mining Act, NIPAS, etc – and their Implementing Rules and Regulations – for policy review and analysis; and
    • Encourage the Local Government Units to support the conduct of seminars in areas of concern on IPRA specifically on use and management of Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) and Certificate of Ancestral Land Titles (CALT) and in the formulation of their Ancestral Domain Sustainable Development and Protection Plan (ADSDPP).
  • Watershed Management.
    • Continue the use and application of Watershed Approach in area development within its political jurisdiction (i.e., from barangay level to municipal level and the provincial level);
    • Strengthen the Bukidnon Watershed Provincial Development Council (BWPDC) who will pursue the watershed trans-boundary negotiations with neighboring provinces and cities that are recipient of water from the province, as per RA 9275 (Clean Water Act), and RA 9286/ PD 198, for possible share in the environmental service payment and; and
    • Encourage the LGUs to establish sewage treatment facilities, pursuant to RA 9275 (Clean Water Act).
  • Forest Protection and Law Enforcement.
    • Pursue and strengthen community based and multi-sectoral approach to forest protection and law enforcement.


  • Creation of a Multi-Sectoral Technical Working Group (TWG) on Resource Mobilization to follow-up the summit output particularly on policy support and promotion of Bukidnon for resource accessing purposes:
    • Capacity enhancement on resource accessing (i.e. CDM projects), networking and socio-cultural approaches;
    • Evaluate the usage of Environmental Trust Fund involving the utilization of provincial share of National Powers Corporation’s Environmental Fund (from reforestation program to social infrastructures);
    • Creation of Provincial NGO-PO Consortium to serve as support mechanism for accessing financing for environmental development projects ; and
    • Establish mechanism and strategies to access and implement in the Province the Adopt-a-Watershed Program of Land Bank of the Philippines.


  • Codification of customary laws, cultural rites, arts, indigenous knowledge system practices and on sustainable development;
  • Empowerment of tribal elders and leaders for effective protection and control of ancestral domain;
  • Provide financial and technical support through the NCIP for the formulation of ADSDPP and to create venues for multi-stakeholder partnership;
  • Strict implementation of Free and Prior Inform Consent process;
  • Strengthen and support the Provincial Consultative Body to fulfill its mandate and function; and
  • Provision of agroforestry and other appropriate socio-economic, cultural support packages.


  • Organize the academe’s technical working group:
    • Organize each school level a core group to take charge of the integration and documentation of environmental concerns and activities (Division of Valencia City);
    • Tap student and pupil organizations in the implementation of environmental activities;
    • Conduct capability development on lesson planning and instructional materials integrating SNREM;
    • Strengthen and support teachers to conduct researches that are environment-based; and
    • Disseminate the results to end-users, stakeholders and policy makers for policy creation and improve extension services to the community.
  • Develop a participatory Monitoring and Evaluation system.

We, the representatives of two cities, 20 municipalities and the Province of Bukidnon, national agencies, indigenous peoples, academic institutions, church organizations, private sectors and NGOs coming together in expressing our voice and concern by holding the Environment Summit at the City of Valencia, Bukidnon on June 26-27, 2008:

NOTING, that the Province of Bukidnon, is the headwaters of the major watersheds in Mindanao that support hydropower generation, irrigation and other industrial and domestic uses, such as the Pulangi, Tagoloan, Cagayan, Maridugao, Salug and Agusan-Cugman Rivers;

NOTING FURTHER, that mountain ranges are also located in the province which are of high conservation and cultural importance recognized as biodiversity hotspots, centers of endemism and the wellspring of tradition among our Indigenous Peoples;

NOTING FURTHERMORE, that the forests of Bukidnon provide valuable various ecological services to sustain its economic development, however, there is a need to increase its current twenty-five (25%) natural forest to at least forty percent (40%) and encourage multi-function forest in private lands, to ensure its sustainability and mitigate possible impact of climate change;

RECOGNIZING, that Bukidnon is experiencing a rapid economic growth due to the numerous agricultural, commercial and industrial developments because of the favorable conditions and therefore there is an indispensable need for an aggressive action to balance conditions for environmental stability as against economic development;

ACKNOWLEDGING, that we, the People of Bukidnon in our desire to sustainably manage our remaining natural resources and to conserve and perpetuate our wild flora and fauna, jointly commit to implement environmental laws and regulations such as: RA 9003 (Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000), RA 6969 (Toxic Substances and Hazardous Wastes Control Act of 1990), RA 9275 (Clean Water Act), RA 8749 (Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999), RA 7586 (National Protected Area System of 1992), PD 1586 (EIS System), PD 1067 (Water Code of The Philippines), EO 247 (Rules and Guidelines in Bio-prospecting), and the relevant provisions under RA 7160(Local Government Code of 1991)and RA 8371 (Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997);

HAVING CONSIDERED the importance of sustainable development of our country in general and Bukidnon in particular, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Resolution No. 2008-523 (10th SP) called for the “Bukidnon Environmental Summit” held in the City of Valencia, Bukidnon on June 26-27, 2008;

HEREBY DECLARE, full support to all initiatives by the stakeholders for sustainable development of the environment and natural resources in Bukidnon; and

HEREBY COMMIT to undertake the following:

1. Act favorably on the recommendations and Call for Actions as agreed upon by the six (6) break-up groups of the said summit as follows:


  • chemical aerial spraying;
  • community watershed and protected areas;
  • upland farming systems;
  • important bio-diversity and conservation areas; and
  • entry of multi-national industries.


  • multi-sectoral City/Municipal assessment on potential ecotourism destinations; and
  • creation of multi-sectoral Ecotourism Committee of the Local Development Council.


  • restoration and rainforestation;
  • Ecological Solid Waste Management;
  • co-management of untenuredforestlands / wetlands in Bukidnon;
  • mineral resources;
  • watershed management; and
  • forest protection and law enforcement.


  • creation of LGUs Technical Working Group (TWG) for fund sourcing; and
  • capability development of TWG on resource mobilization and linkages.


  • customary laws and indigenous knowledge systems and practices;
  • Ancestral Domain Sustainable Development and Protection Plan (ADSDPP);
  • free and prior informed consent process;
  • provincial consultative body support; and
  • socio economic, cultural and livelihood support package.


  • integration of environmental education in the curriculum; and
  • monitoring and evaluation on the implementation of the Bukidnon Environment Declaration 2008 Action Plan.

The details of the recommendations of the said six (6) break-up groups attached herewith shall form as an integral part to this Declaration.

RESOLVED, that a follow-up committee with multi-sectoral representation shall be created by the Office of the Provincial Governor with support to oversee the Bukidnon Environment Summit 2008 recommendations and call for actions;

RESOLVED FURTHER, that this document shall be referred to as BUKIDNON ENVIRONMENT DECLARATION 2008;

RESOLVED FINALLY, that copies of this Declaration shall be furnished to the Office of the President of the Republic of the Philippines, Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government, Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Secretary, Department of Education, Chairperson of the Commission on Higher Education, Executive Director of the National Water Resources Board, Chairperson of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, Chairperson of the Regional Development Council of Region 10, and other concerned heads of offices, institutions and individuals for their information and appropriate action.

ADOPTED by the participants of this Environmental Summit and which shall be finally adopted by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Bukidnon, Sangguniang Panglungsod of the Cities of Valencia and Malaybalay and all Sangguniang Bayan of all Municipalities of Bukidnon this 27th day of June 2008 at Valencia City, Bukidnon, Philippines.



Kitanglad Updates, Volume VIII – Twin Issue 2008-2009

April 24, 2009. KIN’s Executive Director Easterluna Canoy and her 13 other fellows constituting the Cohort 2 of Bridging Leadership Fellows Program of Asian Institute of Management (AIM) – TeaM Energy Center for Bridging Societal Divides finally completed their 18-month fellowship. The latest batch of Cohort 2 Fellows had their public presentation of their respective endeavors that illustrated their bridging leadership skills in partnership with their core group as co-owners of their vision-mission-goals that address the societal divides that continue to beset the country.
The presentation of the fellows was arranged by cluster according to their geographic and thematic links. These presentations were arranged by title and presenter:

A. Stories on Bridging Leadership in: Health, Community Development and Social Welfare
1. Mr. Teodulo Romo, Jr. – Director, Department of Social Welfare and Development Region IX
2. Dr. Abdullah Dumama, Jr. Director, Department of Health – Center for Health Development, Region XII
3. Ms. Easterluna Canoy – Executive Director, Kitanglad Integrated NGOs (KIN)

B. Stories on Bridging Leadership in Education:
1. Mr. Malcolm Garma – Schools Division Superintendent of Department of Education, Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija
2. Dr. Lorna Dino – Director, National Educators Academy of the Philippines, Department of Education
3. Mr. Vladimir Hernandez – Director of Philippine Programme, Community and Family Services International

C. Stories of Bridging Leadership in the Military:
1. Lt. Col. Carlito Galvez, Jr. – Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations (G3), 2nd Infantry Division of Philippine Army
2. Lt. Col. Francis Alaurin – Commandant, AFP Civil Military Operations School and Chief, Operations Civil Relations Services, AFP (CRSAFP)

D. Stories of Bridging Leadership in Local Governance:
1. Hon. Florante Gerdan – Municipal Mayor, Santa Fe, Nueva Vizcaya
2. Hon. Albert Que, Al-haj – Municipal Mayor, Bongao, Tawi-tawi

E. Stories of Bridging Leadership in Sulu:
1. Dr. Hannbal Bara – Head, Waqaf Foundation
2. Hon. Munib Estino Al-haj – Municipal Mayor, Panglima, Estino, Sulu
3. Mr. Jose Mari M. Oquinena – Head of Operations, Gawad Kalinga Foundation
4. Col. Natalio C. Ecarma III – Commanding Officer, 3rd Marine Brigade

The AIM-TeaM Energy Center for Bridging Societal Divides regard the Bridging Leadership Fellows Program as an important contribution to develop the kind of leaders who can meet the complex challenges of nation-building, paving the way to make peace and prosperity a reality in the Philippines.
Since 2006, the BLFP is managed by Prof. Ernesto Garilao as its Executive Director and co-founder. The first cohort of Fellows, composed of six Filipino leaders, namely, Mayor Sonia Lorenzo of San Isidro, Nueva Ecija; Major General Raymundo Ferrer of the Philippine Army; Mr. Ayi Hernandez of Balay Mindanaw; Mr. Harvey Keh of Pathways to Higher Education; Dr. Danda Juanday of the Bangsamoro Development Agency; and Ms. Dedette Suacito of Nagdilaab Foundation in Basilan. These Cohort 1 Fellows also underwent training workshops and mentoring, and have applied their lessons in the engagement of stakeholders in the context of the respective societal issues they were facing. The first batch of Bridging Leaders completed their Fellowship in July 2007.

Kitanglad Updates, Volume VIII – Twin Issue 2008-2009


One million forest-people campaign, a call initiated by Green Mindanao and various tribes in northern Mindanao, would have remained just a vision if not for the proactive and determined leadership of Datu Pignanawan Arthuso Malo-ay of the Higaonons of Claveria, Misamis Oriental.

Datu Pignanawan Arthuso Malo-ayDatu Pignanawan exemplified strong determination as a young leader. His zest was inspired from the consultation-ritual process held in 2003, when elders of the Higaonons of Misamis, Gingoog and Bukidnon, forged a 7-point agenda that strengthened inter-tribal coalition in Mts. Kimangkil, Kalanawan, Sumagaya and Pamalihi (KKSP). Fulfilling that agenda was sort of laid on his hands, as he tried to bridge his people to the government, civil society and donors sympathetic to their cause.

Likewise, at a very young age, Art already assumed leadership of the tribal federation called MAMACILA covering five (5) Higaonon barangays in applying for a certificate of ancestral domain title. Such tasks posed no difficulty to this young chieftain for he knew he had to imbibe both temporal and spiritual leadership traits to protect his culture and generation.

Datu Art, as he was fondly known among his peers and friends especially in Green Mindanao, was a young chieftain with the qualities of a wise and responsible chieftain worthy of honor and pride among the Higaonons of Claveria. He led his people with strength and relentless determination and left a legacy of struggle for their ancestral domain rights and the conservation of indigenous peoples’ culture and their forestlands.

But Datu Art’s dreams for his people and his fellow IPs were short-lived. At 30, he passed away shortly after returning from Geneva, Switzerland from a UN-sponsored conference on Indigenous Peoples. Back to his world of youthful zest and guts, he drove his XRTM 125 motorbike to Butuan City for a meeting there on mandatory representation. A sudden swerve to the other side of the road sent his bike hitting a speeding Hyundai Galloper. He suffered major injuries in the head and internal organs and got fractured legs. He was taken to a good hospital in Cagayan de Oro City for the needed operation. Bereft of cash however for deposit, the attending physician advised that he be transferred to a public hospital where he died the afternoon of the following day.

News of his death shocked the entire Higaonon tribe who trusted him to be one of their true representatives who would have articulated their voice to the government.

And for all of us to whom he had shared his life and dreams, Datu Art will always be remembered as a young chieftain full of life and imbibed with inner strength. He was always warm-hearted, confident and brave regardless of who he spoke with.

Art is survived by his wife Erlinda and their two children-Lehmar, 5 and Lhuille Jean 4 years old. The MAMACILA which now awaits for the approval of their CADT now relies on his widow—Erlinda to continue what he has started especially for the sacred lands of KKSP. (MESC)

Datu Art Pignanawan with the MAMACILA Council of Elder

The young Datu Art Pignanawan seated in front on the left side together with the MAMACILA Council of Elders and GM’s Bosing Butch Dagondon and Easter Canoy and staffs Engr. Roel Caseo as and For. Gal Mortel. Photo taken during the installation of tribal hall tulugan in Civoleg, Claveria sometime in 2006.

A Rare Breed of Public Servant

Kitanglad Updates, Volume VIII – Twin Issue 2008-2009


Bukidnon province felt a great shock and grief as the news on the sudden death of Dr. Antonio T. Sumbalan was announced through texts and on local radio. The former chief of the Provincial Planning and Development Office died of cardiac arrest on 19 July 2009 at around 9pm. He was dining with his family when he suddenly stopped and fell lifeless. No sign of struggle or pain was evident as if he simply stopped breathing.

Antonio T. SumbalanPeople close to “Sir Tony” can agree that they had no inkling of his loss. His persona is always vibrant, warm, light and even filled with a moment of laughter. Sir Tony has helped many citizens, even the disabled, ended a decent job in the government. Like a tower of wisdom and light, he never gets tired of sharing his thoughts and ideas. In what his life stands for, Sir Tony demonstrated the balance of wisdom, diligence, sincerity and humility. And he does this with no pretensions and his presence is sought in many places — even in the mountains of Bukidnon.

Sir Tony was known as a critic, an adviser, a bridge, and a friend to any government employee, to any tribal leader, to any investor, to any NGO advocate, and to any donor agency he meets.

Many can affirm that “Sir Tony” is a rare breed of public servant. The level of prominence of Bukidnon Provincial Governance owes much to his discipline, standard, and credibility. He has served the provincial government practically for three decades from being a provincial administrator and to the head of the planning office. He holds multiple positions and can carry out various tasks par excellence. Sir Tony has served as personal adviser to three governors during their term of office and even after his retirement. Down the line his presence commands respect to national and local chief executives—those seated at the Senate, the House of Congress, as well as among governors and vice-governors, mayors, legislative councils and his peers among the development and planning staffs. Prominent tribal leaders welcome him and listen to his advice. Investors made sure they will ask for his honest opinions if they are to embark on some enterprise anywhere in Bukidnon.

Before his untimely demise, Sir Tony’s latest feats include helping Mayor Leandro Catarata of Valencia City to organize the Bukidnon Environment Summit held last 25-27 June 2008. Backed by his environmental allies in the government, the academe, the church and the NGOs, and with additional funding support from the City Government of Malaybalay and the Provincial Government, the Environment Summit was realized to firm up the environment agenda of Northern Mindanao’s most endowed province in terms of forests, watershed and socio-cultural resources. His co-organizers in this level of Summit hoped to continue his legacy to ensure sustainable development and a green environment for all Bukidnon constituents.

A certified development planner, Sir Tony was a valuable member of graduate faculty in Bukidnon State University and his alma mater in Liceo de Cagayan University. He was Mt. Kitanglad’s volunteer consultant for the Protected Area Management Board. On top of his engagements with the provincial government, Sir Tony was also the adviser of Kitanglad Integrated NGOs project in bridging the state and indigenous people’s initiatives in environment conservation in Mts. Kitanglad, Kalatungan and Pantaron Ranges (KKP) under the Ecosystems Grants Program of International Union for Conservation of Nature in Netherlands. In his engagement with KIN, Sir Tony made sure that environment conservation projects in KKP will gain the cooperation and support of the mayors of Pangantucan, Maramag, Talakag, San Fernando, Cabanglasan and Valencia City, and likewise, with the national line agencies in the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the National Commission of Indigenous Peoples.

To the social and tribal movement to whom much of Sir Tony’s time was equally shared, his legacy in Bukidnon is his contribution in environmental protection of Bukidnon forests and in keeping the balance between State authorities and the informal and traditional community leaders especially among the IPs. This was one proof of his tenacity and belief in seeing the future in the spirit of brotherhood and solidarity amongst all. Throughout the years of polishing his wit, candor and discipline, Sir Tony has planted deeply his indigenous Bukidnon-Higaonon roots that rightfully gained dignity and a place of local history for Sumilao. Sir Tony always dreams for his fellow IPs to develop and to be proud of their culture and their traditional leadership skills.

Kitanglad Updates, Volume VIII – Twin Issue 2008-2009

Changes in technology, choice of crops, cropping patterns and in lifestyle and human behavior may be needed to adapt to the impacts of climate variability and extremes which are likely to worsen in the near future, two experts on climate change said in a seminar on December 19, in Malaybalay City.

Dr. Juan Pulhin, a forestry professor at UP Los Baños, suggested that one measure would be for Filipinos to switch to corn and sweet potato as staples. He said these crops are more resistant to weather extremes like he Niño and La Niña phenomena compared to rice.

He cited that some tribes in Luzon who stuck to root crops were unaffected by the supposed rice crisis that hit the country earlier this year. During the 1997-1998 El Niño, he said, there was a significant decrease in rice production but not so much in corn.

Pulhin, a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and wife Dr. Florencia B. Pulhin, also of the UPLB College of Forestry and Natural Resources,
recently finished a research in Lantapan town, Bukidnon on adaptation measures for climate change which farmers perceived to be effective.

The findings showed that farmers in Lantapan’s 14 barangays tended to use adaptive strategies that require low or no cost at all and those that promise immediate results. Leading the list are prayer and getting water from other sources [during El Niño occurrences].

“On a scale of 1 to 5 where 5 is the highest, prayer is rated as 4.9-percent effective,” Mr. Pulhin said, adding this finding applies regardless of the crops produced by the respondents.

He said the choice of prayer as the number one adaptation strategy owes to its being a habit among Filipinos. It also requires no cost and is done in combination with hard
work, he added. The farmers would also resort to disposal of assets and
doing off-farm work and some admitted they had cut and sold timber from the forests just to survive the lean months, he said.

A logging moratorium has been imposed in Bukidnon since 1988.

Mr. Pulhin, however, noted that only a few farmers could engage in off-farm work, as it is skills-dependent and offers limited opportunities.

The research further showed that the farmers perceived disposal of assets, credit, fertilizer application and government assistance as ineffective strategies. Government assistance was viewed as ineffective because of its limited number of beneficiaries.

The study also found out that government and private institutions in Bukidnon have no common definition of climate change and extremes.

Mr. Pulhin said these agencies implement adaptation strategies based on their respective mandates but that complementation could be worked out.

“But it is difficult to identify a ‘best bet’ strategy that will cut across the different areas of concern. It is also uncertain if current strategies perceived to be effective will remain
useful in the future should climate variability worsen, which is likely to happen,” he said.

“Present preparation is the key to successful farming practice in the future,” he stressed.

He said they chose Lantapan as the study site owing to its importance as a watershed area. Six of the town’s barangays are located at the foot slopes of Mt. Kitanglad
Range, a protected area.

Farmers were chosen as the respondents because they are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change due to lack of resources needed for adaptation, Mr. Pulhin added.