The Makiling Center for Mountain Ecosystems (MCME) held the first ever Farmers Summit in Laguna last 20 February 2019. The Farmers Summit was held at Narra Room, Romulo A. del Castillo Hall, College of Forestry and Natural Resources (CFNR), University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB), College, Laguna. The activity aims to share the different programs and activities that the Center implemented or has implemented hand in hand with the farmers, community and local government. Such programs and activities are about farming techniques and technologies and alternative livelihood activities to protect, conserve and manage the environment most especially the Mount Makiling Forest Reserve (MMFR). The MMFR Farmers Summit 2019 is a culminating activity of the project entitled: An Indigenous Trees-based Agroforestry Development Program in Mount Bulalo, Calauan, Laguna funded by the Philippine Geothermal Power Company (PGPC).
A total of 65 farmers and members of the local government unit attended the Farmers Summit. They represent the farmers from different barangays of Bay, Calamba, and Los Banos, Laguna and Sto. Tomas, Batangas.
Dr. Portia G. Lapitan, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs graced the event and gave her inspirational message to all the participants. Present also in the activity is Dr. Willie P. Abasolo, Dean of CFNR, and Dr. Rogelio T. Andrada II and Dr. Roberto G. Visco, Deputy Director and Director of MCME respectively.
Highlights of the Farmers Summit was the presentation of the accomplishments of the project and the different successful activities of the Center presented by Foresters Rolly V. Breva (Dampalit & Cambantoc Project), Myranel S. Canceran (Youth Summer Program), Leilani A. Castillo (Tree Planting and Nurturing Program), Mae Belen L. Putian (Make It Makiling Program), Benjamin D. Arizala (Ugnayan sa Pamayanan) and Nicasio M. Balahadia (PGPC Program).
The participants were very active and they participated well in the activity. They felt the importance of their participation to the different activities of the Center and realized the need of their participation in the continuous protection, conservation and management of the MMFR.
Photos credit to: RMada, MSCanceran, NMManlisis