Published on Wednesday, 07 June 2017 08:08
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           The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)–Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) of Real, Quezon, together with the Philippine National Police (PNP)–Provincial Public Safety Company of Barangay Kiloloron, Real, Quezon, had recovered 256 pieces of Red Lauan and White Lauan lumber abandoned in Barangay Minahan Norte, General Nakar, Quezon during their patrol work on May 31, 2017 at around 4:00 pm. The apprehended lumber has an aggregate volume of 1,754.34 board feet.

        The following day at around 11:30 pm, the same team had recovered 121 pieces of Amlang and Red Lauan lumber with an aggregate volume of 674 board feet, abandoned along the Agos River in Barangay Banugao, Infanta, Quezon.

        General Nakar and Infanta, Quezon are among the areas within the CALABARZON region with high incidence of illegal logging and tree cutting, and other related unlawful activities, in the past decades and even up to now.

          Even though, the DENR claims that such illegal acts have decreased in the recent years due to the concerted efforts of the said Department and its partner government agencies such as the PNP, and the local government units (LGU) in combating the same.

          From January-May 2017, 59 incidences of apprehension of illegally gathered forest products – including conveyances, tools and equipment used in the illegal acts – had been documented for the whole CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) region. It include confiscation of a total of 47,807.48 board feet of logs, lumber and flitches amounting to PhP 1,994,004.79; 15 units of conveyances amounting to PhP 2,680,000.00; three (3) units of equipment to PhP 50,000.00; 566 sacks of charcoal to PhP 101,940.00; and four (4) cubic meters of firewood to PhP 5,000.00.

            “These (apprehension activities) are all part of the ‘sting operations against illegal logging’ of the DENR which piloted in 2017,” DENR CALABARZON Enforcement Division Assistant Chief Ernesto Diso said.

             The said operations generally comprise sustained monitoring of the cutting and transport of illegally cut or gathered forest products, and enhanced information, education and communication (IEC) campaigns with the assistance from the military, police, LGUs, People’s Organizations, and socio-civic organizations.

            The DENR CALABARZON has allocated a total budget of PhP 1.46 M for the implementation of the sting operations against illegal logging for the second half of 2017. The planned activities include installation of CCTV camera in all monitoring stations and identified routes of illegally transported forest products; deputation training of the Dumagats in Gen. Nakar, Quezon and Tanay, Rizal; surveillance and intelligence gathering in identified hotspot areas like Siniloan and Kalayaan in Laguna, Real and Mauban in Quezon, and Tanay in Rizal; and many more.

           Furthermore, the Regional Anti-Illegal Logging Task Force to effectively implement the Executive Order No. 23 dated February 1, 2011 declaring moratorium on the cutting and harvesting of timber in the natural and residual forests, will be reactivated. It will be composed of the DENR; the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG); Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP); National Bureau of Investigation (NBI); Department of Justice (DOJ); Philippine Army; Philippine Navy; Philippine Coast Guard (PCG); and Philippine Air Force (PAF).

             Quick Response Teams will also be created at the regional and provincial levels of the DENR.