A resolution commending and congratulating the internationally renowned Filipino forest rangers of Masungi Georeserve in Rizal for their exemplary dedication in service has been filed by Sen. Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada.
“It’s only but appropriate that we pay tribute to these remarkable Filipinos for bringing pride and honor to the country, for their extraordinary passion, commitment and courage in protecting forests and conservation sites, endangered wildlife and their habitats,” Estrada said in Senate Resolution No. 58.
The Masungi-Bayog Ranger Team of the Masungi Georeserve Foundation were among the awardees of the second international Ranger Awards presented by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUNC) and the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) in a hybrid ceremony held in Kigali, Rwanda last July 20, 2022.
The Philippine team, represented by Kuhkan Maas, John Paul Magana, and Monica Inonong, were among the 12 winners in the IUNC-WCPA International Ranger Awards this year.
Maas, who hails from Cotabato, has survived a gunshot wound in the neck following an armed attack believed to have been perpetrated by illegal resort owners encroaching in the area in April last year. Magana and Inonong, on the other hand, have been subjected to physical and legal intimidation, and received threats to their lives and safety to discourage them from performing their jobs.
“Despite all these risks, they remain steadfast and undaunted in their advocacy and vocation. These guardians and patrollers of the Upper Marikina River Basin Protected Landscape against illegal encroachment and destruction have demonstrated exceptional resilience and dedication to duty despite harsh working conditions, personal discrimination, intimidation and violence,” Estrada said.
In seeking Senate commendation for the three forest protectors, Estrada said the State recognizes the important role of forest rangers, environment defenders and conservation advocates in looking after and taking care of nature and its resources, as such are essential elements not only in economic growth and inclusive development but most importantly, in human survival.