By FLORENCIO TAMESIS
THE forest is perhaps the most valuable replaceable natural resource of the Philippines. As a source of raw materials and revenue to the Government, it can be managed to yield for a long time more than it does at present. The latest estimate on the extent of the vegetative soil cover of the Philippines is as follows:
Area in Hectares
Approximately 97.5 percent of the forest is owned by the Government and is administered by the Bureau of Forestry; 2.5 percent is privately owned.
The greater bulk of the forest is in large blocks on the principal islands such as Luzon, Mindanao, Samar, Negros, and Palawan. Most of the forest is of the tropical rain type, complex in its composition. More than 3,000 species of trees attain a diameter of 30 centimeters (one foot) or more; however, less than sixty of these are marketed. Seventy-five percent of the stand consists of dipterocarps, commonly called lauan, to which "Philippine mahogany" belongs.
It is conservatively estimated that the aggregate commercial standing timber is around 2,105,000,000 m3 ® (464,729,000,000 bd. ft.). Based on forest charges (government stumpage tax), this stand has a value of P2,341,550,000.1 Its commercial value is placed at P58,092,434,000, based on a minimum price of about P26.5 per m3 ® (P120 per 1,000 bd. ft.).
1 One peso is equivalent to $0.50 U. S.
Smoking Mt. Mayon Volcano in Mt. Mayon, National Park, one of the several scenic parks in the Philippines. The Bureau of Forestry administers national parks as well as national forests.
Under sustained-yield management, the forest could stand indefinitely a yearly cut of 32 million m3 ® (7,000 million bd. ft.).
Based on the composition of stands, Philippine forests may be classified into five broad types:
Dipterocarp Type. This is the forest type in which members of the Dipterocarp family form the predominating timber species, about 75 percent by volume. They thrive under a variety of conditions, from moist river bottoms to hilly and mountainous country, and make up the upper story in more or less pure stands. The lower stories consist largely of unmerchantable species, of shrubs and vines, including the rattans. From the lumberman's point of view, stands ranging from 100 to 200 m3 per hectare are sufficiently heavy to warrant the use of mechanical means of extraction. This forest type is the main source of raw materials for the lumber industry. About 70 percent of the entire lumber output is represented by six species of the lauan family: White lauan, Pentacme contorta; red lauan, Shorea negrosensis; tangile, S. polysperma; apitong, Dipterocarpus grandiflorus; yakal, Hopea sp.; and guijo, S. guiso.
Molave Type. This type of forest is more open than the dipterocarp type and the volume of timber per unit is much less, averaging 30 m3 per hectare. It occurs in regions where there are distinct wet and dry seasons, each of several months' duration. During the dry season, the vegetation is largely leafless, but in the wet season it grows luxuriantly. Under certain local soil conditions during the dry season, there are places approaching desert-like conditions. On dry limestone ridges molave, Vitex parviflora, predominates.
Most of the species found in this type of forest produce woods that are highly valued for: their natural beauty and durability. Among the most important are molave; narra, Pterocarpus spp.; tindalo, Pahudia rhomboidea; ipil, Intsia bijuga; akle, Albizzia acle; and banuyo, Wallaceodendron celebicum.
Pine-type forests occur in the high mountainous regions of northern Luzon and Mindoro. The stand, as a rule, is open and scattered, averaging 45 m3 per hectare. The principal species is the Benguet pine, Pinus insularis while tapulau, P. merkusii, is found in the high mountains of Zambales and Mindoro. Tapulau is not as important commercially as Benguet pine. While the pines grow in practically pure stands, hardwoods are found in mixture with them in areas protected from fires, especially in draws at lower elevations. The timber of the Benguet pine is generally used for mining and general construction purposes in the Mountain Province. These two species of pine supply turpentine and rosin.
Mangrove type occurs on tidal flats at the mouths of streams and on the shores of protected bays. The species could be used for construction if they could be made more durable by treatment. The stand is composed mostly of about seven species of the Rhizophoraceae family. The mangroves are the principal sources of firewood, tanbark, cutch, dyewood, and charcoal.
Along streams in many parts of the tidal flats there grows the nipa palm, Nipa fruticans. Its leaves are used for thatch, its sap for the manufacture of vinegar, alcohol, wine, and sugar.
Beach type. Above high-tide limits are sandy beaches, where the original vegetation has been left undisturbed. The frontal zone usually consists of a tangle of vegetation, of which pandan, Pandanus tectorius, forms a conspicuous part. The principal trees are talisai, Terminalia catappa; dapdap, Erythrina variegata var. orientalis; botong, Barringtonia asiatica; palomaria, Calophyllum inophyllum; agoho, Casuarina equisetifolia; bani, Xylocarpus moluccensis; and tawalis, Osbornia octodonta.
Midmountain and Mossy Type. Forests of this type, found on high and very rough mountainous regions, are essentially protection forests. As a rule, rainfall and humidity are high. Exposed to strong winds, the trees are mostly dwarfed and usually covered with mosses, liverworts, filmy ferns, and epiphytic orchids. The principal species are Dacrydium spp., Podocarpus spp., Eugenia spp., Decaspermum spp., Quercus spp., Myrica spp., Symplocos spp., and Tristania decorticata.
Philippine forest products are generally classified into two groups, namely (1) the timber, and (2) the so-called minor forest products, which include all products of the forest other than timber.
Principal Timber Species. From a commercial viewpoint the principal limbers may be grouped into six general classes: (1) the lauans, (2) the apitongs, (3) the guijos, (4) the yokels, (5) other dipterocarps, and (6) the legumes.
The lauans, or "Philippine mahogany," are the softer members of the dipterocarp family. The red lauans include tangile, tiaong, Shorea teysmanniana, and true red lauan, which constitute the dark-red Philippine mahogany. The white lauans include the real white lauan; almon, S. eximia; bagtikan, Parashorea spp.; manggasinoro, Dacryodes incurvata; kalunti, S. kalunti; and mayapis, S. palosapis, which constitute the light-red Philippine mahogany. The red and white lauans are moderately heavy and durable for interior work when used without sapwood. They are not suitable for heavy structure and exposure to the weather, except when the structure is so made that water sheds off, as in shiplap or in the so-called rizal or rustic siding. For house construction, the lauans can be used for siding, partitions, and ceiling and would give excellent results for light ship-planking.
Apitong is the most abundant of the heavier and stronger structural timbers of the dipterocarp family. It lasts for a long time when used without sapwood, not exposed to the weather or in contact with the ground. Apitong responds admirably to process treatment and is the most important framework wood used in wooden construction. Properly treated, apitong is the equal in durability of molave, dungon, Tarrietia sylvatica, ipil, and yakal for structures exposed to the weather and is superior to any of these for saltwater piling.
Guijo is similar to apitong in many respects, especially in color. Apitong, however, has larger pores and is inclined to be more resinous. The wood of guijo is strong, relatively easy to work and has good wearing qualities. It is best suited for beams and joists, for automobile and truck framing, and for other vehicles. For flooring it appeals to lovers of reddish-brown colors. Like apitong, the wood "moves" in process of seasoning and should be properly dried if the best service is to be expected. Once thoroughly dried, however, both woods "stay put. "
Typical dipterocarp forest on Luzon Island. (1), Red lauan, Shorea negrosensis; (2) Tangile, Shorea polysperma; (3) Mayapie, Shorea kalunti; (4) White lauan, Pentacme contorta.
The hardest and strongest member of the lauan family is yakal. This wood is resistant to decay, which makes it particularly suitable for structures exposed to the weather. It "moves" about as much as guijo and best results can only be obtained when it is well seasoned before using. It is an excellent substitute for ipil for house posts and bridge timbers, and is recommended wherever great strength and durability are required.
Some of the less abundant members of the lauan, family are palosapis, Anisoptera thurifera, and manggachapui, Hopea acuminata (the latter is sometimes known as dalindingan). Real manggachapui is fine-textured, straight-grained, hard and heavy, white when fresh, but upon exposure to the sun it changes to a dark reddish-yellow. Palosapis, which is often substituted for manggachapui by unscrupulous dealers, is coarse-textured, moderately hard and moderately heavy, resembling in this respect the lauans. In color, it is yellowish, often with rose streaks.
Manggachapui has most of the properties of guijo and can be used interchangeably with it, but palosapis has uses similar to the lauans.
Akle, narra, ipil, and tindalo all belong to the legume family, which furnishes most of the valuable cabinet timbers. Akle is brownish in color and is an excellent wood for cabinet-making. It has many of the qualities of walnut and is more resistant to termites. Narra is reddish yellow to dark red. The yellow variety is more common and more readily obtainable than the red. For furniture and cabinetmaking and for door and window framing, narra is almost always the choice, although, for those who can afford the price, a still better wood is tindalo, a beautiful hard red wood that darkens with age. Tindalo keeps its shape remarkably well, and, like most members of the legume family, has a beautiful grain and is very durable. Another very popular wood is ipil. It is most commonly used for house posts on account of its great durability and strength. Before the practice became widespread of setting house posts on a concrete or stone foundation, ipil was one of the few woods that withstood the ravages of decay and termites. With the adoption of concrete foundations, even woods of moderate durability can be expected to last for many years.
Dao, Dracontomelum dao, of the Anacardiaceae family, is a beautiful wood now much in demand for cabinet and furniture work. It "moves" badly when fresh and should be well dried before using.
Minor Forest Products. All products of the forest other than timber constitute " minor forest products. " Among the most important are firewood, charcoal, palm products, cutch and tanbarks, fibers, resins, gums, oils, rubber and gutta-percha, beeswax, and medicinal plants.
Licensing System. The principal governing administration of the forest is the protection of public interests - the utility and safety of the forest and its perpetuation in productive condition by wise use. The privilege of utilizing timber and other forest products for commercial purposes is granted by a system of licensing. There are long-term license agreements for timber or minor forest products covering a period of five to ten years, and " ordinary " or shorter-term timber and minor forest products licenses covering periods of one year only or two to four years.
The Director of Forestry must publicly announce through written notices posted at appropriate public places that certain forests are open for applications. Conditions for the cutting, collecting, and removing of forest products are specified and the public is invited to submit sealed bids. Applications can then be filed. Without such notices or advertisement, no application can be entertained.
Before a forest is declared open for application, the area is first inspected by a forest officer, who reports to the Director of Forestry on such points as the following: The extent of forest area; the existing quantity of particular forest products; the maximum allowable quantity to be cut every year; and the method of development or exploitation feasible. The objective is, insofar as permanent timberlands and established forest reserves are concerned, to develop the area under license on a sustained-yield basis. A license is nonnegotiable and nontransferable. If it is not used for a period of four months during its term of validity, that is sufficient cause for cancellation. One or more renewals of a license may be granted, provided the combined number of years covered by the original license and its subsequent renewals shall not exceed 50 years.
Studies of the growth of Philippine forests show that the annual volume growth averages about 1.5 percent. The annual allowable cut therefore is 1.5 percent of the total volume of available or merchantable timber. However, clear cutting is usually allowed on agricultural land and in potential agricultural areas.
To ensure natural reproduction and as a means of regulating the cut on permanent timberlands, diameter limits have been adopted, below which no cut is allowed. The remaining forest growth is expected to take care of the natural regeneration of the logged-over areas. As provided in the license, the diameter limit for cutting is, according to species groups, as follows: Species of the first group, 60 centimeters; those of a second group, 40 centimeters; and all dipterocarp species like apitong, lauan, tangile, etc., 50 centimeters, except yakal and guijo, which belong to the first group.
The new Philippine reforestation tax is used to establish pine plantations after logging, such as this one on a Cebu Reforestation Project.
Forest taxes. A forest charge (stumpage tax or government royalty) is collected for the timber cut. For this purpose, all timber species in the Philippines have been classified into four groups. For timber in the first group, a charge of P3.50 for every cubic meter is collected by the Government, P2.00 for the second group, P1.25 for the third group, and P0.60 for the fourth group. In addition, a reforestation tax on all timber cut in public forests for commercial purposes is collected at the rate of P0.50 for every cubic meter of the first and second groups, and P0.40 for the third and fourth groups. A special assessment is provided on molave, camagon, Diospyros discolor, and ebony, D. ferrea, depending upon whether the log has sapwood or is purely heartwood.
Free use. Under present laws and regulations, a reasonable quantity of timber is granted free for public works and to religious institutions. Individuals may also be granted timber for their personal use. If an individual is a resident of a city or municipality owning a communal forest, the timber must be obtained from it. In the absence of a communal forest' a free license may be granted to cut in the public forests.
From the organization of the Bureau of Forestry under the American regime in 1900 until 1941, the Philippine lumber and timber industry had a remarkable growth and development. During the Spanish administration of the Islands, logging had been done by slow and wasteful hand or animal power. There were a very few small sawmills of the gang type, run by steam or water power, and these were mostly in the city of Manila. Very limited information was available on the Philippine forests - their extent or logging possibilities; the timber species of potential commercial value were unknown. Among the first problems that the Bureau of Forestry had to under take were the reconnaissance of forest areas, the classification of timber species, the determination of their strength, durability, and other qualities. As a result of the basic information gathered, operators with more capital were attracted to the industry. Power logging was introduced and modern bandsaw mills were installed.
Up to 1906, the Philippines had practically no export trade in lumber and timber. In 1907 there was exported 595 m3 (s) (252,000 bd. ft.) of lumber, mostly to the United States. On the other hand, 38,500 m3 (s) (16,316,000 bd. ft.) of lumber, principally from the United States, was imported during that year. Since then, up to the outbreak of World War II, lumber and timber exports increased considerably and lumber imports correspondingly decreased. In 1941, 520,000 m3 ® (114,900,000 bd. ft.) of logs and 175,000 m3 (s) (74,100,000 bd. ft.) of lumber, or a total of 446,000 m3 (s) (189,000,000 bd. ft.) of lumber valued at P8,041,389 were exported from the Philippines. In that same year 4,935 m3 (s), the equivalent of 2,091,000 board feet of lumber, valued at P256,936, was imported. The imports consisted mainly of lumber and timber for special purposes.
Tractor yarding and logging of red lauan using D-7 and D-8 caterpillar tractors and arches.
Total annual timber products snowballed from 94,000 m3 (s) (40 million bd. ft.) of lumber in 1901 to over 2¼ million m3 (s) (1,000 million bd. ft.) in 1940. The steady increase in production was, however, interrupted by World War II, during which most big sawmills were destroyed. At the outbreak of hostilities in the Pacific in December 1941, there were 163 sawmills with a combined daily capacity of 3,996 m3 (s) (1,693,000 bd. ft.), representing an estimated investment of P46,000,000 and employing some 70,000 persons.
Postwar status of the industry. After the liberation in 1945, only 38 of these sawmills were left, with a total daily capacity of 687 m3 (s) (291,000 bd. ft.). Rehabilitation of the Philippine lumber and timber industry, however, has shown rapid progress since the end of the war.
Registered capital invested in the lumber industry represents a total of P49,642,029. Investment in sawmills and logging equipment is P38,094,705. The difference of P11,547,324 represents the capital invested by small licensees.
During the fiscal year 1940-1941, just before World War II, there were in force 19 long-term timber licenses and 1,189 ordinary timber licenses, or a total of 1,208 licenses, with a total production of 2,221,000 m3 (s) (941,600,000 bd. ft.) in logs or lumber. Of this amount, 348,800,000 board feet were of sawn lumber, the balance of 592,800,000 board feet in logs.
During the fiscal year 1947-1948, there were in force 22 long-term timber licenses and 1,697 ordinary timber licenses, or a total of 1,719 licenses, covering forest areas of 2,655,208 hectares with a total annual allowable cut of 7,500,000, m3 ® (1 650 million bd. ft.). There were also in force 1,602 licenses for ordinary minor forest products. Of these, 568 licenses were for rattan and 471 licenses for firewood, and the remainder for resins, nipa, vines, etc.
Number of sawmills. As of 30 June 1948 there were 207 sawmills with complementary power logging equipment and 135 sawmills without logging operations, or a total of 342 sawmills. These sawmills have an aggregate daily capacity of 5,220 m3 (s) (2,212,000 bd. ft.). While the number of these sawmills exceeds that existing before the war, they are smaller mills.
Volume of production. Timber production is already approaching prewar size, that during the fiscal year ending 30 June 1948 being 3,610,000 m3 ® (797,100,000 bd. ft.) as compared with the prewar figure (1940) of 4¼ million m3 ® (942 million bd. ft.) (log scale). For the fiscal year 1947-1948, the total lumber output was 788 000 m3 (s) (334 million bd. ft.). With additional mills under construction and the improvement in logging and sawmilling operations now in progress, output is expected to exceed a thousand million board feet next year.
Labor. The supply of labor in the lumber industry is not a problem. Labor to handle sawmilling and logging equipment is also readily available, thanks to a natural Filipino aptitude for handling machinery. About 50,000 persons are employed in the lumber industry.
Domestic market. Manila is the principal lumber and timber market for domestic consumption. In 1947-1948, there were 454,000 m3 (s) (192,500,000 bd. ft.) of sawn lumber, 11,800 m3 (s) (5 million bd. ft.) of squared timber and 36,500 m3 ® (8,050,000 bd. ft.) of logs shipped to Manila, representing a value of P44,804,383 in trade.
Exports. Export trade is generally direct from mills in the outports. In view of the magnitude of destruction suffered by the Philippines and the large quantities of lumber needed for reconstruction, there are temporary restrictions on exports. This ban, imposed after the establishment of the republic, was lifted in part on 15 July 1947, by exempting veneer or peeler logs of grades 1 and 2 and flitches eight inches and over in thickness. On 4 December 1947 sawn lumber became exportable. On 5 June 1948 the export quota was increased from 20 to 50 percent of production.
Grading is assuming increasing importance in the export trade in logs and lumber.
The first exports went mainly to the United States, China, and Japan. Exports as of 30 June 1948 were 45,000 m3 ® (10 million bd. ft.) of logs and 10,600 m3 (s) (4,490,000 bd. ft.) of sawn lumber and flitches, with an aggregate declared value of more than three million pesos. All export lumber or timber must pass government inspection, using the Philippine grading rules or the National Hardwood Lumber Association grading rules of the United States.
Imports. While Filipino lumbermen were reviving the export trade in logs, flitches, and sawn lumber to the old foreign markets, the Philippines imported during 1947 (January to October, inclusive), 2,800 m3 ® (627,000 bd. ft.) of logs (pine, aspen, redwood, camphor, and lignum vitae) from the United States, valued at P61,848; sawn lumber, 385 m3 (s) (163,000 bd. ft.) (mostly cedar) from the United States, valued at P340,018; plywood, 324,000 m2 (3,492,000 sq. ft) from the United States and Mexico, valued at P1,207,082.
Rehabilitation of the lumber industry. To meet present problems of rehabilitation, the Philippine lumber industry should be brought up to an annual production of at least 4.7 million m3 (s) (2,000 million bd. ft.) as rapidly as possible. This would provide enough for domestic reconstruction requirements and for exports. A cut of this magnitude would still be very conservative, because it would remain considerably below the estimated annual growth of the existing timber stand. The limited financial possibilities and inadequate equipment, however, need to be improved if Philippine lumber is expected to play its part in meeting the world's demands. It is estimated that to achieve this level of production would require an investment of at least P22 million in additional sawmills; P4 millions for finishing mills; P2 millions for veneer mills; P1.5 millions for dry-kilns; P2 millions for wood-preservation treatments; and another million for box and barrel manufacture - a total of P50.5 million.
Of the 342 sawmills established as of 30 June 1948, 312 are actually operating. Only two are reported to have a capacity of as much as 59 m3 (s) (25,000 bd. ft.) a day. Most of these mills are of the U. S. Army type and are not expected to last long. What is needed is to increase and improve the sawmills and logging equipment in order to build up production and to improve the quality of the products.
The principle underlying forest administration since 1863 has been the proper protection, delimitation, conservation, and utilization by wise use of timber and timber lands. Under a royal order of the Spanish administration in that year, constructive legislation and regulations were introduced, and investigations were begun, laying the foundation for forestry work in this country. Handicapped though the organizers were in the early days, considerable information was gathered, particularly in the fields of botany, natural history, and utilization. However, the Manila fire of 1897 destroyed the natural history collection. When the United States took over in 1900 this information had to be collected all over again. The Spanish laws embraced far-reaching provisions in conservation and protection against human destruction and unwise utilization.
In principle, they were maintained by the newly established Forest Service in 1900 under the American regime and were restated by an Act of 1902 of the United States Congress, which defines the duties and jurisdiction of the Bureau of Forestry insofar as public timber lands are concerned. With little modification, the same Act was adopted by the Commonwealth and later by the Republic. By law, the Bureau of Forestry is given priority in determining what portion of the Philippine public domain shall be retained for forest usage, to be held separate from lands declared to be of agricultural or mineral usage. Under the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines, ownership of natural resources, including forests, rests with the State.
Present laws and regulations provide for the organization and operation of the Bureau of Forestry under the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources. The functions, powers,: and duties conferred or imposed by law and regulations upon the Bureau of Forestry are performed under the direct control, supervision and responsibility of the Director of Forestry, and exercised through administrative units set out in the accompanying chart.
Office of the Director. The advisory staff, composed of division chiefs and ranking men of the bureau, advises the Director of Forestry in the formulation of policies on administration and management.
The inspection service is handled by division inspectors designated by the Director to supervise the field activities of the bureau and to conduct administrative and technical investigation work that may require immediate or special attention.
The Administrative Division is concerned with administrative functions including personnel, budget estimates, allotment, accounting, collection and disbursements, records, library, supplies and equipment. The preparation of rules and regulations and proposed legislation, as well as the rendering of legal opinions, also come under its activities.
The Division of Forest Investigation is in charge of the research work of the bureau, including the administration of experimental forest nurseries and plantations, plant introduction, and publication of the Philippine Journal of Forestry. Investigation work deals mostly with silvics and silviculture, growth and volume measurements of trees and unit areas, establishment of sample plots, study of the influence of forests upon soil, waterflow, and erosion; the identification and classification of trees and woods; study of the chemical, physical, and mechanical properties of wood; and studies on other forest products. Where protection is concerned, studies are conducted on the various agencies destructive to forest nurseries, plantations, forest trees, and forest products as well as on methods of preventing and combating them. The technical personnel of this division also forms part of the faculty of the Forestry School of the University of the Philippines.
The Division of Forest Management is in charge of the preparation of forest working plans for the management of public forests. It handles all questions of forest land status, including claims and registration, all forms of occupancy and use of public forest lands, the work pertaining to grazing, conservation and administration of game and other forms of wildlife. Also included is the administration of forest reserves, national parks, communal forests, communal pastures, and other special forests.
I - Advisory Staff
1. Public Relations
(b) Forest Investigation
1. Silvics & Silviculture
(c) Forest Management
1. Working Plans
(d) Forest Engineering
1. Forest Reconnaissance and Land Classification
(e) Reclamation and Reforestation
1. Afforestation and Reforestation
(f) Forest Concessions
1. License Section
(g) Sawmills and Utilization
1. Lumber Grading and Inspection
IV - Field Service
(a) Provincial Forest Districts
The Division of Forest Engineering has as its main function the classification and delimitation of public forests so as to separate them from agricultural lands to be turned over to the Bureau of Lands for disposition as homesteads, by sale or lease in accordance with the Public Land Law. The general work of forest reconnaissance, all forms of forest surveys, and preparation of forest maps are handled by this division. The compilation and preparation of statistical data to serve as information and guidance in establishing appropriate policies for the administration of the public forests is also one of the important functions of this division.
The Division of Reclamation and Reforestation takes charge of the reforestation and afforestation of open or grass lands as well as of denuded and loggedover areas which, after classification, are found to be better fitted for forest use than for agriculture or grazing. It also takes charge of the reclamation of marshlands, sand dunes, and other wastelands. Planting surveys are carried out, especially on critical areas such as watersheds and sources of water supply. The establishment forest nurseries and plantations and their administration and protection is carried on by this division, which is also directly in charge of the management and administration of the Cinchona Plantation in Bukidnon Province. This division co-operates with municipal, provincial, and city governments in beautification planting and with private individuals and other entities interested in the growing of ornamental forest trees.
The Division of Forest Concessions has supervision over the granting of ordinary and free licenses; over cutting, collection, or removal of timber and minor forest products from the public forests; over the issuance of permits for the leasing of forest lands for special purposes such as sawmill sites timber depots, hotel sites, bathing establishments, residences, camps, pastures, and for other lawful purposes; and over the issuance of permits for the gathering of orchids and other wild plants. The collection of data on capital investments. on the amount of forest products harvested, and on areas granted, as well as the answering of queries as to location and occupation of public forests, and procedure for securing licenses also fall under the work of this division.
The Division of Sawmills and Utilization is entrusted with the administration of all timber-license agreements; with the scaling of government timber for collection of forest charges; with scaling work requested by private interests; with the grading and inspecting of lumber, logs, railroad ties, and other timbers; with the study of methods of sawmill and logging operations; with the gathering of information on equipment and machinery used in lumbering. It applies provisions of the Executive Order concerning the export of logs and lumber, gathers data on imports and exports, and keeps records of retail and wholesale prices.
The Field Service has 44 provincial forest districts, each headed by a technically trained provincial forester. The number of forest stations in each district ranges from 1 to 12, depending on the extent of forest activities in the province. In all there are 144 forest stations in the Philippines, each under a qualified ranger graduate of the School of Forestry.
Among the more important activities of the Bureau of Forestry are the following:
Land classification. Public lands are classified as (a) alienable and disposable, (b) timber, and (c) mineral lands. No land of the public domain may be legally disposed of by the Government unless it is classified and certified by the Director of Forestry as not needed for forest purposes.
The basis for land classification work is Section 18, Act of Congress of the United States, 1 July 1902, which reads in part: "... no timber lands forming part of the public domain shall be sold, leased, or entered until the Government of said Islands, upon the certification of the Forestry Bureau that said lands were more valuable for agriculture than for forest uses, shall declare such lands so certified to be agricultural in character.... " This policy is also set forth in Section 1827 of Act 2711, known as the Revised Administrative Code. In the early part of the American occupation, land classification was limited to individual inspection of areas applied for as homestead, for sale, or for lease under the Public Land Law. In 1919, however, project classification was inaugurated, with 250 hectares set as the minimum limit for a project. Piecemeal classification was continued, nevertheless, and carried on simultaneously with project classification. Land classification has been accelerated since.
Hand-sawing lumber is still practiced in the Philippines, particularly in cutting expensive wood like narra.
The total land area of the Philippine Islands is 29,741,000 hectares, of which 11,871,000 hectares, or 39 percent, had been classified as of 30 June 1948. Of the classified land, 9,957,000 hectares are alienable and disposable lands certified to the Director of Lands as not needed for forest purposes for disposition under the Public Land Law; while 1,788,000 hectares is timberland under the protective and administrative jurisdiction of the Bureau of Forestry; 17,870,000 hectares, or 61 percent of the land area, remains to be classified. It is tentatively figured that about 11,500,000 hectares will be kept as permanent forest area for forest protection, timber production, and other uses of forest lands.
Land classification proceeds as quickly as the funds available permit, in order to provide settlers with agricultural lands, thereby accelerating the economic rehabilitation of the Philippines as a whole.
National Parks Administration. Pursuant to the provisions of Act 3915 of 1 February 1932, there have been proclaimed 33 national parks in the Philippines, containing an aggregate area of 226,142 hectares. The Makiling National Park was the first park proclaimed, 23 February 1933; it covers an area of 5,909 hectares. The latest, the Bataan National Park, proclaimed 1 December 1945 and embracing the Bataan battlefields, contains approximately 31,000 hectares. Sixty proposed national parks are under study.
Forest Reserves. Upon the recommendation of the Director of Forestry, with the approval of the head of the department, forest reserves are set aside by proclamation of the President and "once established shall not be entered, sold or otherwise disposed of, but shall remain as such for forest uses to be administered in the same manner as public forests. " There are at present 101 forest reserves throughout the Islands, containing an aggregate area of 1,150,935 hectares. Sixty-eight proposed forest reserves are pending.
Communal Forests and Pastures. Communal forests are tracts of public forest set aside for the use of the residents of a municipality from which they may cut, collect, and remove, free of charge, forest products for their personal use. Communal pastures are portions of public grazing lands to be used exclusively, free of charge, for grazing of livestock raised and maintained for domestic purposes by residents of the municipality. There are 2,096 parcels of communal forests and 94 parcels of communal pastures, containing approximately 284,800 and 19,300 hectares respectively, for the residents of 777 municipalities and municipal districts.
Pasture Lands. There are more than five million hectares of open and grass lands. Some are agricultural lands, others are forest lands. About 1,300,000 hectares are suitable for grazing. Formerly, pasture lands on alienable and disposable areas were leased from the Bureau of Lands, and those in forest areas from the Bureau of Forestry. Under subsequent laws all public land used for pasture has been placed under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Forestry. In 1941, there were 1,471 pasture permits, covering 119,000 hectares. Because most of the cattle were lost during the war, many cattle owners have not renewed their permits. At present there are only 685 pasture permits covering 66,293 hectares, but 959 applications for permits covering about 311,092 hectares are pending.
Game and Wildlife. The Game Protection Act (2590) was passed February 1916, and in 1932 the Director of Forestry was designated as insular game warden to enforce the Game and Fish Law. In 1939 game and wildlife were placed under the Division of Grazing and Wildlife, Bureau of Forestry. Fisheries are handled by the newly created Bureau of Fisheries. Before the outbreak of World War II, there were 3,688 ordinary hunting licenses and 22 special permits issued, as against 1,283 ordinary and 9 special hunting licenses and permits issued during the fiscal year 1947-48.
Reforestation. One of the major problems of Philippine forestry is the utilization of some 5,270,000 hectares of wastelands, a large portion of which is covered with cogon grass, Imperata exaltada. This vast area of unproductive land is largely the result of forest destruction by shifting cultivation, domestically known as kaingin. During the Japanese occupation, people took refuge in the forest and made clearings to produce food crops. Considerable areas of virgin forests were also destroyed in the course of military operations. The extent of forest destruction caused by the war has not as yet been definitely ascertained. Long before this the Government had realized that forestation would solve the problem of wastelands. Because of financial considerations, work did not go beyond the experimental stage until 1938, when substantial appropriations were granted. These enabled the bureau to open and maintain 35 projects. They had to be abandoned or were destroyed in the course of the war. Rehabilitation of these projects was a grave concern of the Government, which was straitened by loss of its source of funds, the prewar excise tax. Recently, however, the legislature, realizing the urgency of forestation, passed a special tax law providing a reforestation fund, collectible from a small additional stumpage charge for every cubic meter of timber cut from public forest for commercial purpose. This earmarked fund will ensure the continuity of reforestation and afforestation work.
An important activity is the maintenance of the Cinchona Plantation in Bukidnon, Mindanao. In 1941, 358 hectares were planted with 1,200,000 cinchona trees, ranging in age from a few months to five years. Seventy-five percent of the trees were Cinchona ledgeriana and the remaining 25 percent were C. succirrubra, C. officinalis, C. calisaya, and a hybrid species. Up to that time a total of P257,000 had been invested and the plantation was valued at more than P720,000. During the war the buildings and roads were badly damaged and the records of studies made were completely lost. The plantation itself played a very important role in the fight against the Japanese. It supplied more than 40,000 kilograms of quinine bark to the guerrilla forces and to the Southwest Pacific Command in Australia. About 40 liters of seed was flown from this plantation to America via Australia to start the American cinchona plantation in Costa Rica, which was well launched by the end of the war. Before 1941, more than 23 tons of cinchona bark had been harvested and given to the Philippine Bureau of Science for the manufacture of totaquina. Work on the plantation has been resumed and already more than 80 tons has been harvested.
One of the important problems confronting the Bureau of Forestry soon after its organization was the lack of competent technical men. Prominent American foresters like Gifford Pinchot and Henry S. Graves, who visited the Islands, recommended the establishment of a school of forestry to train men for the forest service. In 1910 the Forest School was created as part of the College of Agriculture, University of the Philippines. Originally, it was a training school for forest rangers, who took a two-year course at government expense. In 1916, it became an independent unit of the University of the Philippines, with the Director of Forestry as ex-officio dean. In 1933 the ranger course was abolished and replaced by a four-year collegiate course leading to a degree of Bachelor of Science in Forestry.
Up to 1948, the school had graduated 638 men in the ranger course and 182 with collegiate degrees. Almost all of the technical men in the bureau, around 80 percent of the present personnel, are graduates of the School of Forestry. Twenty-three of these men have taken advanced forestry courses in the United States. They now occupy responsible positions in the bureau and in the lumber industry. Students from Guam, India, Siam, China, and Borneo have attended this school. The Bureau of Forestry co-operates with the university in the maintenance of the school through the assignment of some of its personnel to the teaching staff and by making available to the school the facilities of the Division of Forest Investigation. For field laboratories it uses the Bureau of Forestry nursery and plantations and the Makiling National Park of about 5,000 hectares.
Although the Philippine Forest Service is quite young, as compared with similar organizations in neighboring countries, its system of forest administration has attracted the attention of foresters all over the world. The Dutch East Indies, China, Siam, India, and other countries have sent foresters to observe it in operation. Filipino graduates of the Forest School have been employed in Borneo and requests for their services have been received from neighboring countries.
At the beginning of the American occupation, investigation work of various kinds was started and carried on by the Bureau of Forestry, in some cases in co-operation with the Bureau of Science and other agencies. In 1902 a timber-testing laboratory and a woodworking shop were established. In 1906 a separate Division of Forest Products was created to investigate the amount, characteristics, value, and uses of Philippine forest products and to bring this information to the notice of Philippine and foreign markets. The work consisted mostly of the preparation of data collected for publication; the classification and cataloguing of reports on hand, the collection of museum samples of forest products, durability tests, and forest investigations. The following year the name was changed to Division of Investigation in view of the increase of the work and of its scope. In 1910 the headquarters of the division were transferred from Manila to Los Banos. This was coincident with the establishment of the Forest School, since the bulk of instruction in the Forest School was and still is handled by the division's personnel.
A considerable amount of research work has been done by the bureau since its organization in various fields pertaining to forestry and forest products, especially in forest botany and dendrology (ecological and systematic), silviculture (in all its phases), forest management (including mensuration, organization, and working plans), forest protection, lumbering and utilization, wood technology.
Forest administration work suffered a great setback as a result of the war.. The destruction of laboratories, records, libraries, equipment, wood specimens, and botanical and forest products collections created one of the major problems of the administration. For more than forty years the Forest Service had built up a Forest Products Museum, reputed to be one of the best in the Orient. All of this was destroyed except the original wood samples collection from which the description of types and subtypes had been made. The corresponding botanical specimens, however, were destroyed. Reconstitution of this collection will take time, expense, and effort.
During the war about 50 percent of the trained personnel of the organization served with the armed forces and many of them gave their lives for their country. The gaps in the ranks of the Forest Service have not yet been filled and lack of personnel as well as inadequate funds for travel constitute considerable handicaps to the administration.
The back-to-the-farm movement, particularly of the ax-guerrillas, creates a demand for more crop lands. This is a problem: the Government cannot immediately provide land for occupation; public domain must first be classified and certified by the Bureau of Forestry as not needed for forest purposes before it can be disposed of for homesteads, for sale or lease, and legally occupied. Lack of personnel and appropriations to carry out intensive land classification hinder development planning. "Squatting" or illegal occupancy is frequent and creates a serious problem in forest conservation.
Forest destruction increased after the liberation. Illegal clearings to alleviate the food shortage destroyed valuable forests. On account of the tremendous demand for timber, illegal cutting and timber smuggling became widespread. The great number of unlicensed firearms left over from guerrilla warfare makes enforcement of forest law difficult, especially in the more remote regions.
The lumber industry needs adequate and systematically organized assistance. Although this industry has gone far in rehabilitating itself, still more constructive organization is needed if it is to contribute fully to the reconstruction of the country as a whole and to help supply the rest of the world with lumber and forest products. Financial backing and "know-how" are two important needs.
Research facilities have suffered 'considerable damage. Loss of equipment and data will require fresh starts on some of the important projects. The School of Forestry must be expanded to train men to carry on the various phases of forest conservation and to provide replacements for the pioneers in forestry, many of whom have now rendered more than 30 years of continuous service and who, because of age and ill health, will soon have to retire. There is a great need for technicians and for adequate laboratory facilities for research in forest products utilization, particularly in the use of waste from logging and lumbering, and in the investigation of new uses for woods which at present are not commercially merchantable.
A number of field experts from FAO and the United States have been sent to help in Philippine rehabilitation. This is particularly true of the fishery resources. It is hoped that similar arrangements can be made for forestry. This could be supplemented by sending promising young men from the Philippine Forest Service abroad to acquire the most advanced knowledge on all branches of forestry, and especially on forest products utilization.