PM backs hike in budget for forest rangers after netizens slam lay-offs


The prime minister is reportedly keen to allocate a budget for hiring more forest rangers after reports about the laying-off of over 1,700 rangers brought stinging criticism on social media.

The government came under fire when famous star Jesdaporn 'Tik'​ Pholdee, who is known for his adventures in the wild, tweeted on January 19 that he was saddened by the reduction in the budget for natural resource care in 2022 to only 8.534 million baht. The sharp budget cut had forced the Department of National Parks to lay off 1,731 forest rangers, or 33 per cent of their total strength. Netizens reacted with anger and raised serious questions about the budget for the latest fighter jets.

Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Varawut Silpa-archa said his ministry understands the reasons for the Budget Bureau to cut budgets.

He is preparing to seek approval from the Cabinet on February 1 for a 251-million-baht budget to hire 4,000 forest rangers from March to September. This would take the budget for forest rangers nationwide to around 500-600 million baht.

Varawut said the prime minister was aware of this problem. When he explained the details to the PM, he told him to hurry up and present the proposal so that the central bureau could proceed faster.