Samuel is an ex-combatant who was part of a communist rebel group in the Philippines. To him, the days of intense fighting between the rebels and the military are a grim reminder of the senselessness of war. He is among the forest guards that the DENR, through the USAID B+WISER program, trained on forest protection using the Lawin system. With the mobilization of Samuel and his fellow forest guards as Lawin patrollers, the DENR was able to strengthen forest protection in the region and expand patrol coverage to other identified hotspot areas in the Cordilleras. Samuel says that as forest guards, he and his team patrol the forest very strategically. “We have lived in the mountains for the longest time. We know where the illegal activities are happening and the possible areas where they can also happen,” he said confidently.
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