ENVIRONMENTAL group, Task Force Kinaiyahan, has named six logging corporations responsible for denuding forests in Northern Mindanao and urge the National Government to go after these corporations.
Task Force Kinaiyahan chairman Orlando Ravanera named Bicmar logging company, Tipi Wood Corporation, Roa Logging, Dacudao and Sons, Valderama and Sons, and Remedios Fortich as the logging corporations operating illegally in areas of Lanao, Bukidnon, and Cagayan de Oro City for the last 50 years.
Ravanera said these corporations are responsible for the recurrent flooding in the last decade.
Ravanera added that one inch of rainfall in these denuded areas translates to a meter of flood water in the city, and said the rainwater often go directly to the city instead of going to the tributaries as expected.
"I told Usec Luna during our aerial survey last Thursday, that we can still arrest and hold accountable these illegal loggers. Nganung wala sila nagtuman sa ilang (Why didn't they follow the) timber license agreement and replant after their operations. I want the government to go after these illegal corporations, because they are operating illegally, and no amount of paper or document can make their operations legal," Ravanera said.
Ravanera also pointed out that personnel of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) who allowed these logging corporations to operate should also be held accountable.
The DENR, particularly Luna, vowed to go after the said corporations and make them answer on their violations.
"All the extinct tree specie such as, lawaan, mahogany, narra, even our watersheds are erased and rebuilt as sawmills. Had they replanted, the trees could have been big now," he said.
Local officials should be vigilant in monitoring the rain, as the city could still submerged in flood even if it is not raining in the Cagayan de Oro proper.
"The ingredients of disaster are there. We should be alarmed that we have lost our ecological security already. We should take measures to counter this, such as, start re-planting," he added.
Earlier, Ravanera also questioned the City Local Environment and Natural Resources Office (Clenro) for allowing highly-mechanized quarry operations along Iponan river.
He said this is illegal as highly-mechanized quarrying only implies that the operators are not getting sand and gravel, but are already into mining gold in the river.
But in his defense, Clenro chief Edwin Dael said Ravanera must be “misinformed,” since quarry operators can use mechanized equipment as long as they dig from the riverbanks, a provision, he said, allowed by the DENR's Environmental Compliance Certificate.