The apparently massive decline in the country’s forest cover over the decades is alarming as forests provide vital ecological services and are crucial to human survival. Ideally, Philippine forest policies should promote sustainable forest management. This paper analyzes major forest policies of the country, namely Community-Based Forest Management (CBFM), National Greening Program (NGP)/Expanded NGP, National Integrated Protected Area System (NIPAS)/Expanded NIPAS, and assesses how responsive these policies are mainly in terms of helping to protect and/or enhance the country’s forest cover. The policies are studied based on relevance, effectiveness, impacts, equity, feasibility and sustainability. The reforms proposed by the author to make these policies work or succeed better are widely institutional in nature.
Notably, this paper includes a discussion on recent proposal for the enactment of a Sustainable Forest Management Act. Reinvention of a forest management institution, provision of more livelihood(s) and support to forest communities, and strengthening of forest enforcement mechanisms – these are examples of what recent proposed measures on sustainable forest management seek to achieve..