Environment agency seizes P648T worth of illegal logs
By Ben O. Tesiorna, Correspondent
DAVAO CITY — Despite earlier declaration that there are no illegal logging activities in Southern Mindanao, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in the region conducted series of massive operations against “forest perpetrators” that resulted to the confiscation of forest products amounting to P684,896.
In a joint operation conducted by the forces of the Community Environment and Natural Resources (CENR) Office of Nabunturan and Laak Philippine National Police, authorities confiscated 167 pieces amounting to 81.10 cubic meters of mixed dipterocarp species valued at P 486,600.
The forest products were seized at Km. 14, Sitio Marang, boundary of Laak Compostela Valley Province and Boreto, Agusan del Sur.
CENR Officer Marvin Parilla said that they acted based on a tip given by a concerned citizen that there is an on-going stockpiling of logs in the said sitio. Nobody claimed ownership of the logs but the local residents revealed that the logs were supposed to be transported to Tagum City via Laak route.
The confiscated logs are now deposited at CENRO Sub-station at Poblacion Laak. Comval.
Prior to this confiscations in Laak, CENRO Tagum City under Antonio Inguillo also apprehended a total of 20.01 cubic meters of lumber valued at P68,296 along Talaingod-Bukidnon National Highway in Brgy. Palma Gil, Talaingod, Davao del Norte.
CENRO Mati, Davao Oriental under Victor Billiones together with the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) headed by Joel J. Custodio also apprehended a total of 15.4 cubic meters of lawaan logs valued at PhP94,000.
The alleged owner of the logs seized in Mati, Davao Oriental was identified as one Alias “Nanding” by truck driver Eduardo Ambasan of Purok 6, Sagasa, Dadong in Tarragona, Davao Oriental.
Billiones disclosed that the conveyance, an unregistered ten-wheeler truck, and the logs are now placed under his custody while the office is preparing the necessary papers for filing of case against the perpetrator for violation of the Presidential Decree 705 otherwise known as the Revised Forestry Code of the Philippines.
DENR Regional Executive Director Jim Sampulna said that Protection of forest resources is one of the priority programs of DENR Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje. DENR-XI has been very thankful for the support of everybody particularly the CIDG, PNP and the LGUs.
“We acknowledge the fact the DENR cannot do environmental protection effectively without the support of everybody, we need everybody’s help in order to ensure our fight against forestry destroyers,” Sampulna said.
Field officers of DENR-XI are given stern warning by Director Sampulna to stop any illegal forest activities in their area of jurisdiction. “They better shape up or they will be shipped out of their assignments,” Sampulna said.
DENR to Padlock Erring Wood Processing Plants
DENR Secretary Ramon Paje meanwhile gave instructions to all the DENR regional directors in the country to monitor within 10 days all the wood processing plants (WPPs) within their area of jurisdiction and put a stop to their operations in case they violate any conditions stipulated in their permits.
WPPs include veneer, plywood/plyboard sawmill, plyboard/ blockboard; fiberboard; sawmill/veneer; regular sawmill, mini-sawmill/mini-veneer, mini-sawmill, resaw, wood treating plans, chopstick/veneering, and, woodworking/woodchips.
As an offshoot, DENR XI Director Jim Sampulna met all his field officers and gave them 10 days to submit their action regarding this directive from the Secretary.
For mini-sawmill plants which constitute 86 out of the 143 WPPs in the region, Sampulna said that operators are only allowed to process planted trees coming from private tree plantations duly registered with the DENR and from Community-Based Forest Management Agreement (CBFMA) holders with approved Resource Use Permit (RUP) covered with log supply contracts pursuant to Section 4 of DENR Memorandum Order 96-09 series of 1996. They are also required to display permits on their premises.
Sampulna ordered that all mini-sawmills found milling natural grown trees shall be padlocked and the lumber found in their premises shall be confiscated in favor of the government.
As of August 15, 2010, there are a total of 143 WPPs in Region-XI. Sixteen in Davao Oriental, 46 in Davao del Norte, 40 in compostela Valley Province and 41 in Davao del Sur. A total of 17,114.884 cubic meters of wood products valued at 3,244,938.10 USD were exported last year. BOT