He loves to jog, take a dip in the pool, or spend some time in the gym as most men his age do. but not many Filipino males will consider managing forests resources as a career.
While people were busy doing their job as engineers, lawyers, or doctors. Dr. Gem Belarmino Castillo was a busy tending the wild as a forester.
Dr. Castillo is a man with an unusual name for a rather unusual area of work. Currently, he provides technical assistance to The Philippine Environmental Governance Project funded by the United Stated Agency for International Development (USAID). His expertise extends from resource economic-related tasks (coastal resources management, forest and forestland management, and solid waste management) to development of bio-economic model for fisheries. His line of work is crucial in the projects and policy-making for our natural resources and their future sustainability.
Dr. Castillo is equipped for this work by his graduate training from Michigan State University in the United States, and capped by his doctoral degree in forest economics. He was also awarded a post –doctoral research (W.B. and Candace Thoman Fellows Program), from the same university, on market analysis for forest products trade in the US.
His work required frequent traveling all over the Philippines, yet he was able to come up with scholastic outputs, including several international publications (International Conference on Geospatial Information in Agriculture and Forestry and Conservation Ecology), he contributed and served as member of the editorial board to the Philippines Recommend Series.
Dr, Castillo obtained his baccalaureate and master’s degree (forest resource management) from the University of the Philippines Los Banos. Before pursing studies in the US, he served as a research specialist at the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD) for almost 15 years. – Bato Balani