Senator wants local governments to enforce total log ban-A A +A
Saturday, February 4, 2012
SENATOR Francis Escudero is urging local government units to police their own area to ensure the proper implementation of the total log ban.
This came after local government officials blamed the massive devastation brought by Tropical Storm Sendong in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan cities last December 2011 to illegal logging activities.
Escudero said President Benigno Aquino III had already issued Executive Order 23 calling for a total log ban in the country.
Under the order, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources is restricted from issuing logging permits and contracts in all natural and residual forests, including renewal of tree-cutting permits in all forests nationwide.
“Ang alam ko sa ngayon ay may total log ban na talaga. Ang tanong kung ipinapatupad ba talaga ng mga local officials at ahensiya ng gobyerno,” he told reporters in a press conference during his visit in Cagayan de Oro recently.
The senator acknowledged that while the imposition of the total log ban would affect the livelihood of indigenous people and other communities who rely on forest resources, the ban should be coupled with alternative sources of income for affected families.
Earlier, Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Vicente Emano said the disaster that hit Cagayan de Oro could have been prevented if illegal logging activities in the mountains surrounding the city were stopped.
Emano said the diminishing forest could no longer prevent rainwater from flowing downstream which causes flash floods in low-lying areas. (Annabelle L. Ricalde)
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on February 04, 2012.