C2 DENR-1 TAKES STIFFER ACTION VS ILL-LOGGERS
DENR-1 TAKES STIFFER ACTION VS ILL-LOGGERS
SARRAT, Ilocos Norte – Top officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) this region take ‘stiffer action’ against those who continue to do or attempting to do destructive activities against the environment.
The tougher measures are contained in the memorandum of commitment of DENR-1 officials led by Regional Director Paquito T, Moreno, Jr. as they concluded the 2-day regional management conference held here recently.
Moreno said, additional checkpoints will be set up to prevent smuggling from and entry of illegally cut logs to any of the region’s four provinces to include Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union and Pangasinan.
Previously, it was reported that several municipalities in the four provinces had been identified as illegal logging “hot spots” where charcoal and furniture making is the prevalent source of livelihood of the residents.
Intelligence report also revealed that illegally cut logs coming from the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) and Cagayan Valley region gained entry into the region and sold profitably to furniture shops.
Gwendolyn Bambalan, assistant regional director for technical services, reported that illegal logging activities in those so-called “hot-spots” municipalities were already contained but not totally stopped.
Bambalan said to sustain campaign against illegal logging activities, a closer cooperation among government agencies – DENR, Philippine National Police (PNP) and local government units - and the communities must be established.
But with the renewed commitment, DENR-1 officials and personnel could confront steadfastly the challenge of stubborn illegal logging activities which, if not stopped, threaten the region’s forest zones including protected areas.
“This region is known for its critical natural resources – its lake, rivers, sea shores, forest, mountains, mineral resources and its floras and faunas – and DENR people are privileged to have been chosen to do the responsibility of conserving, preserving and protecting these (natural resources),” said swearing that DENR-1 will exert efforts to comply with its mandate.
On the reported forest fires destroying tree planting areas of the National Greening Program (NGP) particularly in Western Pangasinan, Moreno warned that DENR extension personnel could be liable for negligence if the incidents were not reported immediately to concerned officials of Community and Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) which has jurisdiction over the area.
He hinted that an investigation is on-going and for the identification and prosecution of those who caused the forest fires.
Meanwhile, Manuel Ydia, chief of the licensing and patents division, said that his office will enforce strict compliance of the requirements prior to the issuance by the regional director permits for the cutting of trees on private properties and even along public highways.
Ydia said that for every tree cut along public highways due to road expansion project, the contractor is required to plant 100 trees as replacement.