“What you see in the highway are logs of planted species”- CENRO

May 12-18, 2011

Not hot logs

NABUNTURAN- The Community Environment and Natural Resources Officer (CENRO) for Nabunturan, Mawab and Laak areas has clarified that what the public has been seeing to the logs carried by trucks passing the highway “are logs not from naturally grown trees but of planted species.”

He clarified that President Aquino’s Executive Order No. 23 is not actually a total log ban as trees of planted species can still be felled down and logs from such species such as ipil-ipil and the like are harvested and transported easily to wood processing plants in Tagum or Davao cities with least government restriction.

What the government axe goes after are those logs from naturally grown trees such as lawaan, narra and the like, he added.

He said that the environment department has been actively implementing the President’s directive and the National Greening Program and is in constant watch of illegal cutting of naturally grown trees.

In Compostela Valley, the DENR has two other CENRO offices, one is based in Monkayo covering Monkayo, Montevista, Compostela and New Bataan areas, and the other is based in Maco covering Maco, Mabini, Pantukan and Maragusan areas.

On the other hand, OIC CENRO Victor Billones in earlier interview said that he observed only a “normal and continuing harvesting” than a “harvest boom” of logs from planted trees.

He said that logs from planted species being transported to the direction of Davao City came from as far as Agusan del Sur areas.

Billones bared at least 450 hectares of scalded timberlands in Casoon in Monkayo, Ngan in Compostela and Bantacan in New Bataan have been identified to be subjected to government’s  greening program in partnership with Community Based Forestry Management Associations, people’s organizations and Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries.

Earlier, Willie Yordan, the CENRO whom Billones replaced last January, said last November that there was a harvest boom for trees planted species.

Yordan had a spat with Monkayo Mayor Manuel “Jun-Jun Brillantes who charged him to be allegedly inutile in stopping illegal logging in Monkayo which caused for the destruction of farm -to-market roads built and maintained at high cost by the municipal government.

Yordan is reportedly now assigned in the DENR regional office with the reassignment of CENROs regionwide last January.

When he was asked to be sacked from his Monkayo post, Yordan sought understanding from the town officials saying that he has been campaigning against illegal logging in the municipality but since there was a harvest boom of planted and miscellaneous tree species he had no control over the destruction of farm-to-market road in barangays especially Barangay Casoon where he said roads were wrought by the passing of many hauling trucks.

He bared that the DENR is not imposing transport permits paper when it comes to lumbers and logs of planted species such as falcattas and gmelinas adding that what is being required for these are only certifications from tree farming association.

He said then that logging ban cannot possibly be declared in Comval because it is part of the timber corridor where the country gets its source of timber supplies. He said that the anti-illegal logging campaign is a “cat and mouse” affair with the illegal loggers operating when the authorities relax their campaign.

Compostela Valley and the provinces of Agusan, Surigao and Davao Oriental comprise the so-called Timber Corridor.

In Davao del Norte that is seen to the controlling hub to the transport of logs, newly transferred Davao del Norte provincial environment officer Marcia Garcia said that DENR checkpoints in the province are positioned in Km. 48, Km 60 (Magdum), Asuncion, Igangon, near USP in Tagum City, Pag-asa, Panabo, Florida (boundary of Kapalong and Agusan del Sur), and Talaingod in boundary of San Fernando, Bukidnon.

CENRO Tagum Antonio Inguillo said that at the recent over 900 cubic meter of hot logs were seized by authorities in the province.

“Serbisyo lang, wala tayong sinasanto sa kampanyang ito,” he said referring to those caught having no required papers to the logs they transported.  (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)


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