“BFI established a production forest and not a protection forest.” This answers to the negative feedback heard and received by the Bukidnon Forests Incorporated (BFI)-Malaybalay City from the constituents after knowing that trees were cut off and delivered to make business, as they are the corporate arm of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

BFI’s Administrative Officer (AO)Vilma Lorca delivered this during the provincial government of Bukidnon’s Monthly (June) Convocation and grabbed the opportunity to once again inform and make people understand the true purpose of BFI’s existence, to cope up with the people’s need on wood resources.

AO Lorca stated that they were aware of this misconception and hope that after the forum people will appreciate that as a commercial forestry, they aim to provide people a long-term earning opportunity here in Bukidnon.

Lorca also discloses the agreement entered into by the governments of New Zealand and Philippines way back year 2000 where they have a vision to be a leader and partner in the prosperous development of the plantation forest and other related industry in the province of Bukidnon, the model of commercial forestry in our country. Its mission is to ensure the profitable and environmentally sustainable management of its forest resources, while supporting the people of Bukidnon to improve their community.

BFI uses their harvested logs to produce paper, tissue, bags as they encourage everyone to use these products that are environment friendly since they are biodegradable. They also inspire people to support and plant more trees to address the gap in the demands of the people on wood production.

With this regard, as presented by BFI as their major accomplishments as of December 2012, they have established 6,899 forest plantation with 63 regular employees and 621 seasonal employees; harvested 6,695 cubic meter of logs in 74 hectares land area and disposed 8,916 cubic meter of logs; they have also established 1,000 hectares of production forest and 236 hectares of protection forest in agreement with the DENR.

From the start, 1989 up to present, BFI considered themselves as successful in establishing a man-made forest in the province, the only remaining forest in the country today.

Inspite of this agreement by New Zealand and Philippines, our National Government has issued an Executive Order No. 23 through DENR Secretary Ramon Paje for the moratorium of cutting of trees on Natural Forest, in which BFI is also affected.

But BFI understands this as they are one with the government in working for the mitigation of climate change.

Along with this, BFI sets their target for 2013 in line with the National Greening Program of President Benigno Aquino, III wherein they were tasked to plant 20,000 hectares (Bukidnon-8,000 hectares and in Luzon[Tarlac, Ilocos Norte,Zambales]-4,000 hectares each). Aside from that they were to establish nursery in Luzon to produce 6 million seedlings and 4 million seedlings here in Bukidnon.

Before AO Lorca ends her report, she shares this saying from an anonymous, “the best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago, the second best is now.”