Valencia City to Join Other 3 LGUs Suppress Forest Fires in Mt. Kalatungan

The City of Valencia together with the Local Government Units of Pangantucan, Talakag, and Maramag joined forces as they committed to send responders to help suppress forest fires in Mt. Kalatungan.

The plan was made during the 37th Protected Area Management Board Meeting held in Valencia City CAP Building on April 5, 2015.

The Kalatungan Mountain Range lies at the center of Bukidnon Province with about 143.85 hectares of natural forest. It is bounded by the municipalities of Talakag in the north; in the east is Pangantucan; Lantapan in the west and the city of Valencia in its south.

In the meeting, it was reported that the forest fires quickly spread in the mountain ranges affecting the areas of barangay Guinuyuran, and Lilingayon in Valencia City.

Forester Julius M. Parian, City Environment and Natural Resources Officer of Valencia City, said that they were able to contain the fires in the said barangays through the help of the Bantay Lasang however, he said that the Pangantucan Town needs more help as forest fire still continues to spread in the area.

Atty. Genaro C. Cadigal Jr., City Administrator, said that the local government will send 35 trained personnel to respond and help construct fire lines in the affected areas. Each of the 3 municipalities will also send 10 personnel as agreed during the meeting.

"We need to take action in all by means to stop the spread of fires that currently affecting our environment," Atty. Cadigal said.

Tribal groups in the mountain are also said to conduct elders meeting and rituals to call for rain and help control the forest fires.

Furthermore, the Valencia City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office conducted an urgent meeting to talk over the situation of the mountain and to plan the necessary things needed such as the budget for food assistance, fire equipment and logistics.

An ongoing joint PAMB meeting is also being held in Malaybalay City to discuss the problem on forest fires in Mt. Kitanglad, the 4th highest mountain in the country, and Mt. Kalatungan.