With the recent forest fires that have been recorded in the municipality, the Barangay officials and elders of Bontoc Ili have decided to declare “Tengaw” or cultural lock down in the said barangay today, March 20, 2024, for the conduct of an emergency meeting.

Recognizing the importance of blending culture with modern science, Mayor Jerome “Chagsen” Tudlong, Jr., convened the officials, elders, community members, and concerned offices of the Bontoc Local Government Unit (LGU) at the Bontoc Ili Barangay Hall to discuss interventions that can be undertaken by the barangay and the Bontoc LGU in preventing and stopping the increasing number of forest fires in the municipality.

During the meeting, the mayor underscored the ongoing efforts to combat these fires while introducing a new initiative: the recruitment of trained personnel as “Bantay Gubat,” to augment in the firefighting efforts of the municipality.

Also, he mandated the strict enforcement of existing barangay ordinances aimed at penalizing offenders contributing to fire hazards.

Further, Tudlong mentioned that he has allocated additional funding for the procurement and installation of fire hydrants in the said barangay as part of an ongoing effort to enhance firefighting capabilities and ensure prompt response to fire incidents.

Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer Johanna Padaen reported that a total of 29 forest fires to include one structural fire were reported by the Bontoc Municipal Fire Station since January 2024.

Meanwhile, Bontoc Ili Punong Barangay Eva Mila Fana-ang disclosed that two individuals faced penalties imposed by the barangay for violating the Barangay Ordinance of Bontoc Ili.

Sangguniang Bayan Members Timothy Pongad, Jr., and Viola Okko seconded the mayor’s sentiments and extended their appeal to the public to cooperate in stopping and preventing forest fires in the municipality.#