DENR OKs use of fallen trees in typhoon-hit areas

Rhodina Villanueva - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Trees uprooted or felled by strong winds or damaged by fire can now be used to boost rehabilitation works in areas affected by recent typhoons.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources acting secretary Jim Sampulna issued a memorandum to DENR field offices to grant wood recovery permits (WRP) for uprooted trees in areas affected by Typhoon Odette.

The partial lifting of the suspension of WRPs covers naturally growing and planted trees in forests, alienable, disposable lands and privately owned lands.

“The issuance of WRPs for the retrieval and disposition of abandoned logs, drifted logs, sunken logs, tree stumps, tops and branches are still suspended until further notice and upon comprehensive review and assessment to be conducted on the matter,” the memorandum read.

Sampulna said WRPs should be issued within three months after a typhoon or fire.

Areas affected by Odette were given three months to retrieve and dispose typhoon-damaged trees from the issuance of the memorandum.

Former DENR secretary Elisea Gozun suspended the recovery and disposition of abandoned, drifted and sunken logs as well as uprooted and fire and typhoon damaged trees, stumps, tops and branches, citing abuses in WRP issuances, saying these were used as convenient cover for illegal logging.

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