Rangers go high-tech amid risks of job | Inquirer News

Rangers go high-tech amid risks of job

/ 12:05 AM January 17, 2017

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO—Patrolling dense jungles on foot used to be the only means for 215 rangers in Central Luzon to keep track of what is happening inside 589,489 hectares of forests in the region.

But last week, they began to go high-tech by using satellite-aided laptops to generate images of logging, timber poaching, landslides and unauthorized settlements.

“It’s like they have an eye on the forest,” said Francisco Milla Jr., Central Luzon director of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).


Information that the rangers gather, said Milla, would be relayed in real time to allow DENR agents, soldiers and policemen to quickly enforce environmental laws.


Milla said 13 laptops were provided by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through its Biodiversity and Watersheds Improved for Stronger Economy and Ecosystem Resilience (B+WISER) program in support of DENR’s Lawin Forest and Biodiversity Protection System.

The Lawin system was initially focused on wildlife and was expanded this year to include forests.

Trial run

The second phase of the system is undergoing a trial run that would last for about a year in Central Luzon and Cagayan de Oro, Milla said.

The new technology was designed to reduce risks taken by rangers, some of whom have been shot or killed while patrolling or inspecting forests.

An ambush in June 2015 left a ranger dead in Nueva Ecija province.

“We’ve been aiming for zero hotspot,” Milla said, referring to the campaign to protect rangers.


He said the rangers have not been armed by the DENR because many of them believed that carrying guns endangered their safety.

Forests in Central Luzon span 942,387 ha but only 589,489 ha or 62 percent have forest cover, DENR records showed.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

The mountain ranges of Sierra Madre, Zambales and Bataan are home to the flower Rafflesia consueloae, Tapulao mice, the world’s largest flying fox, the giant cloud rat and Philippine eagles. —TONETTE OREJAS

TAGS: jungles, landslides, logging, patrol, Ranger, Sierra Madre, Zambales

© Copyright 1997-2024 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.