THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) urged illegal loggers on Wednesday, December 6, to secure permits in transferring forest products and to not use poverty as an excuse to violate laws.
The agency made the statement during a forum held on Wednesday at the Philippine Information Agency-Central Visayas office.
The forum discussed the DENR-7’s accomplishments, projects and activities, and priorities for 2018.
One of the agency’s priorities is the stricter enforcement of the apprehension of undocumented forest products.
DENR-Central Visayas Assistant Regional Director for Technical Services Eduardo Inting pleaded to those who are transferring logs to complete the necessary documents, otherwise they will be apprehended.
“Do not make poverty a reason for you to illegal log,” Inting said.
Inting advised those who make a living through pangahoy (logging) to also plant trees.
DENR-7 Planning and Management Division Chief Eddie Llamedo said that it is important to always have certificate of verification, approving the cutting of trees.
He added that if there is no original transport document or certification, the enforcers will apprehend not only the individual, but also the materials and the vehicle used in transportation.
In 2017, the agency confiscated undocumented forest products worth P5,801,604.49 from the provinces of Bohol, Cebu, Negros Oriental, and Siquijor.
The agency said they noted an increase in the numbers of confiscations because of more apprehensions conducted in the areas where illegal logging is active, adding that they also held unannounced checkpoints.
The illegal logging hotspot areas are Asturias, San Remegio, Tuburan and Bogo in Cebu and Calape and Tubigon in Bohol.
As of November 2017, there are 43 cases that were filed in court, the agency said.
The DENR is planning to use drones to monitor illegal logging activities in the coming years. (USC AB Communications Intern Frankl Glarino/SunStar Philippines)