M a n i l a

PRESIDENTIAL DECREE No. 389 February 5, 1974


WHEREAS, there is a serious need to effectively conserve the Nation's public forests, including watershed areas, to protect and preserve national parks, and at the same time, to provide suitable agricultural land for our people;

WHEREAS, upon my instructions, the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources has prepared, drafted and completed the codification, revision and updating of forestry laws to conform with, and in pursuance of the provisions of the New Constitution;

WHEREAS, the adoption of the Code as part of the law of the land will achieve the following results, among others:

1. The gradual phasing out of log exportation and accelerated development of the local wood processing industry through a system of disincentives and incentives;

2. Additional revenue to support the expanded responsibilities of the Bureau of Forest Development in land classification, forest protection, reforestation of denuded watersheds, continuing census of settlers and kaingin management in public forest, forest research and development;

3. The abolition of short-term licenses and the granting of long-term license agreements of 10 and 25 years to afford the grantee security of tenure, thus, assuring the effective conservation of the forest and elimination of petty graft resulting from periodic renewal of such timber licenses;

4. Abolition of the requirement of one processing plant for each concession and inducing the establishment of economic-sized plants located near shipping points, which can adequately complete in foreign markets in terms of quality and pricing of output;

5. Acceleration of land classification and immediate proclamation of permanent forests as forest reserves;

6. Resettlement or integration of settlers in public forests through a system of kaingin management. This involves a complete and continuing census of all occupants of public forest, including their location, in order to determine valid claims and prepare action plans for integrating such occupants into the socio-economic mainstream; and

7. Revitalization of the Forest Agency (Bureau of Forest Development). Adopted and made part of this Code is the merger of the Bureau of Forestry, Reforestation Administration, and the Parks and Wildlife Office, as already embodied in the Integrated Reorganization Plan approved under Presidential Decree No. 1.

WHEREAS, the urgency of giving force and effect to this measure in the quickest possible manner and time cannot be overemphasized, the Filipino people having witnessed and suffered from the last catastrophic floods and droughts throughout the Archipelago;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers in me vested by the Constitution as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and pursuant to Proclamation No. 1081, dated September 21, 1972, and General Order No. 1, dated September 22, 1972, as amended, in order to accelerate the classification of our remaining unclassified forest lands into alienable or disposable public lands and permanent forest and conserve the latter for the benefit of the present and future generations of this Country, do hereby order and decree the following:

Article I
Title and Policy

Section 1. Title. This shall be known as the "Forestry Reform Code of the Philippines".

Section 2. Declaration of Policy. It is the policy of the State:

(a) To promote the wise utilization, conservation and development of the forest resources of the country, including their associated services relating to water supply, recreation and wildlife preservation;

(b) To safeguard the national interest in the maintenance of a wholesome ecological environment;

(c) To accelerate the rehabilitation of denuded lands, including those under private ownership; and

(d) To provide a stable forestry agency and a body of laws and regulations adequate to achieve the national policy.

Article II
Organization and Jurisdiction of the Bureau of Forest Development

Section 3. Merger and Organization of Forestry Agencies. For the purpose of carrying out the policies established under this Code, the Bureau of Forestry, the Reforestation Administration, the Parks and Wildlife Office and such other government agency, instrumentality or special project as are performing related functions, including applicable appropriations, records, equipment, property and such personnel as may be necessary, are hereby merged into a single agency to be known as the Bureau of Forest Development, hereinafter referred to as Bureau. The Bureau shall be directly under the control and supervision of the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources, hereinafter referred to as Department Head.

The Bureau shall be headed by a Director, who shall be assisted by one or more Assistant Directors. The Directors and Assistant Directors shall be appointed by the President. ``

All positions in the three merged agencies are considered vacated. Present occupants may be appointed in accordance with a plan organization prepared by the Director as approved by the Department Head. Any appointee who fails to report for duty in accordance with the approved plan within thirty (30) days upon receipt of notification shall be deemed to have declined the appointment, in which case the position may be filled by any other qualified applicant.

Section 4. Qualification of the Director and Assistant Director. No person shall be appointed Director or Assistant Director of the Bureau unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, at least 30 years of age, a holder of at least Bachelor's Degree in Forestry or its equivalent, and a registered forester.

Section 5. Creation of Functional Divisions and Staffs. There is hereby created the following divisions:

(a) Planning and Evaluation Division which shall have the following functions: (1) undertake economic, organization and management research relative to forest land management and forest industry development; (2) prepare long-range and annual programs of work; (3) guide the preparation of multiple-use plans for the public forest; (4) evaluate, through a system of field inspection, the quality and quantity of performance as measured against established policies, goals and standards; (5) establish standards for land classification in the public forest; (6) recommend changes in laws, regulations, policies and procedures as needed to achieve agency objectives; (7) maintain agency manuals; and (8) perform such other functions as may be provided by law.

This division shall consist of functional sections, namely: Program Planning, Performance Evaluation, Forest Economics and Management Analysis.

(b) Administrative Division which shall have the following functions: (1) advise management on personnel policies and administration; (2) develop and administer a personnel program on selection and placement, classification and pay, career and employee development, training, performance rating, employee relations, health and welfare service; (3) inform the public about the policies, plans, activities and accomplishments of the Bureau; (4) develop and improve budgetary methods, procedures, and justifications, provide fund estimates in support of the Bureau's operations, plans, and programs; and provide for the systematic release and control of fund allotments to the various units of the Bureau; (5) maintain basic and subsidiary accounting records and books of accounts to reflect financial transactions; (6) certify to the availability of funds, obligate funds, process vouchers or claims, and prepare financial reports; (7) file and maintain necessary records and establish a records disposition program; (8) provide mail, transportation, messengerial, and general utility services for the Bureau; (9) procure, store, and distribute supplies and equipment and conduct periodic inventories of the same; (10) provide cashiering services; (11) and perform such other functions as may be provided by law.

This Division shall consist of functional sections, namely: Personnel, Budget, Accounting, Information and General Services.

(c) Legal Staff which shall have the following functions: (1) provide legal counsel and assistance to the Director and various organizational units of the central office concerning the interpretation and application of forestry, reforestation, parks, and wildlife laws; (2) assist the regional staffs in resolving complex legal problems involving violations of laws, rules and regulations; (3) appear in courts and administrative bodies in behalf of the Director and other personnel of the Bureau on cases arising from the lawful discharge of, or cases related to the functions of their offices; (4) conduct investigations regarding cases filed against employees of the Bureau and submit recommendations; and (5) perform such other functions as may be provided by law. The Legal Staff shall be directly under the Office of the Director.

(d) Silviculture Division which shall have the following functions: (1) maintain a current inventory of timber resources in the public forest, including virgin, cutover and degraded forests; (2) design

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