WHILE illegal logging is not rampant in Cagayan de Oro, the city remains a top choice of illegal loggers to ship hot logs in other areas because of its strategic location, an environment official said.
Lawyer Florenda Lamason-Yap, chief of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Northern Mindanao legal division, said Cagayan de Oro and Northern Mindanao in general is one of the exit points and considered a transshipment hub.
“Transshipment lang meaning mao’y gateway to transport to other areas but no illegal logging activities kay wala naman kahoy diri sa Region 10 (there are no more trees here in Northern Mindanao),” she said.
Yap said this is the reason why several illegal loggers are intercepted in the city, like in the case of Ibrahim Basher, the suspect in the Initao College grenade explosion last week who apparently ran amok after environment officials refused to release the lumbers and vehicles they confiscated last March.
The DENR-Northern Mindanao said Basher’s son was transporting 319 pieces of lauan lumber with an estimated value of P148,850 from Lanao del Sur to Cagayan de Oro. He was intercepted in Barangay Lumbia last March 25.
Also on November 10, two men were arrested for transporting illegally cut lauan and gemelina lumber worth P400,000 in Barangay Lumbia.
Yap appealed to the public to comply with environmental laws or face penalties.