Mr. President:

Your Committee on Civil Service and Government Reorganization has the honor to sponsor Senate Bill No. 2055, or the Forestry Profession Act of 2014, under Committee Report No. 12. 

The Forestry Profession Law or Republic Act No. 6239 is one of the professional regulatory laws that this Committee intends to update in order to ensure that our registered professionals and standard of practice are attuned to the international standards and developments in the field.

Since the enactment of Republic Act 6239, the Forestry Profession Law of 1971, there have been a number of changes to the milieu, as well as issues, in which the Forestry Profession operate. The pressing concern of climate change aggravated by human induced environmental destruction, as well as natural calamities, necessitates a major re-orientation of this profession. The interplay of various political, environmental and ethical considerations has made the practice of this profession truly unique. It is this peculiar nature of Forestry profession that we seek to address.

 This bill seeks to repeal RA 6239 and enact a more comprehensive law that will regulate the practice of Forestry in our country. Among the salient features of this bill are:

a.     A more detailed and comprehensive definition of the scope of activities and services of the forestry practice;

b.     Establishment of a Professional Regulatory Board for Foresters which shall regulate the practice of forestry in accordance with the provisions of this measure; and

c.     Provision of a reciprocity clause which would pave the way for our foresters to practice abroad, provided that we afford the same privilege to the citizens of the receiving country; and

d.     Lastly, integration of forestry practitioners into one and only accredited professional organization.

Mr. President, we have witnessed the impact of changes in our environment, particularly the devastation brought by climate change and environmental changes in our country.

Our foresters play a significant role in mitigating the impact of these changes and in attaining sustainable development. In order to fulfil this role, it is just right that we provide them with necessary framework that will allow them to enhance their capacity, through the enactment of this measure. 

In view of the foregoing, the immediate approval of this measure is earnestly sought.
Thank you, Mr. President.