DENR targeting logging hotspots
Jessa Agua (The Freeman) - March 31, 2015 - 10:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The Department of Environment and Natural Resources-7 will strengthen its campaign against illegal logging by removing ‘hotspots’ in Central Visayas.

“We will be focusing on illegal logging hotspots which are considered critical as far as movement of forest products which are undocumented is concerned,” said DENR-7 Regional Director Isabelo Montejo.

Hotspots are the pier areas of Tagbilaran and Talibon, Bohol; Argao, Carmen, Liloan, Danao City, Bantayan Island, Talisay City and Toledo City and Cebu City; Ayungon and Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental; and Siquijor.

“Consistent with the policy of DENR Secretary Ramon JP Paje,  have directed our provincial and community environment and natural resources officers to keep a close watch on the movement of illegal forest products and illegal cutting of trees within their area of jurisdiction to attain a ‘zero-illegal logging hotspot’,” Montejo added.

Anyone caught transporting logs or lumber coming from the residual and natural forests will be dealt with pursuant to Presidential Decree 705 or the Revised Forest Code of the Philippines and Executive Order No. 23 which declares a moratorium on the cutting and harvesting of timber in the natural and residual forest.

EO No. 23 was issued by President Benigno Aquino III on February 1, 2011 to ensure the protection of the remaining forest cover of the country, preserve biodiversity, protect threatened habitats and sanctuaries of endangered and rare species as well as allow natural regeneration of residual forests, among others.

Montejo also urged all DENR field officers to closely coordinate with the regional and provincial anti-illegal task force in the conduct of joint enforcement operations with the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police.

Due to the continued effort against illegal tree cutting and transport, DENR-7 has confiscated a total of 344.3 cubic meters amounting to more than 3.4 million pesos in 2014. In the first quarter of 2015, it reported a total of 44.2 cu. m. or equivalent to over P400,000.

All confiscated illegal forest products composed of mostly logs, lumber, fitches, charcoal, firewood and timber were deposited in the respective CENRO offices and those without court cases were donated to Department of Education, among other beneficiaries.

Montejo reminded that cutting of trees is subject to certain environmental laws and policies that should be strictly followed.

 

The DENR has a mandate to issue permits to ball-out or cut down trees with specific guidelines. The local chief executives have no power to exercise such authority.

Starting April 4, 2014, the DENR-7 issued a moratorium on the processing and issuance of transport documents for firewood and charcoal in five towns in Cebu that covers Tuburan, San Remigio, Tabuelan, Asturias, and Balamban. — (FREEMAN)

ACIRC ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES AND THE PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE AYUNGON AND DUMAGUETE CITY BANTAYAN ISLAND CENTRAL VISAYAS DANAO CITY DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES ILLEGAL MONTEJO NEGROS ORIENTAL
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