CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) recently commended partner agencies and institutions, who stood as government’s strong allies in curbing illegal logging activities in Central Luzon.
This, as some P11 million worth of illegal lumber, equivalent to 212,098 board feet have been seized by the DENR task force in the region this year.
Fred Sadueste, chief of the Enforcement Division of the DENR in Central Luzon, noted that forest protection was a task the department cannot do alone, and entailed collaborative efforts among the members of the Regional Anti-Illegal Logging Task Force (RAILTF) to curb unlawful acts that destroy the forestlands of the region.
“It is pertinent to honor the hard work, dedication and significant contributions of our fellow environmental warriors, for it is through our concerted effort where we are able to reduce man-made destruction in our forests, especially in preserving the remaining forest within the Sierra Madre mountain range,” he said.
The Anti-Illegal Logging Task Force was created under Executive Order (EO) No. 23 and is a composite team chaired by the DENR, while the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) act as vice chair, and the Department of National Defense (DND), Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and Bureau of Customs as members mandated to take the lead in the anti-illegal logging campaign including enforcement of other environmental laws.
Among the awardees were the Environmental Crime Division of the NBI, the 80th Infantry Battalion of 2nd Infantry Division and Task Force Sagip Likas Yaman of 7th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army (PA), and the PNP provincial station in Pampanga and municipal stations in Dipaculao, Aurora and Nampicuan, Nueva Ecija.
Other agencies who also recognized by the DENR for their strong support in anti-illegal forest activities were the regional offices of NBI, PNP, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Justice, PA’s 7th Infantry Division, and the Bureau of Customs port offices in Subic and Clark.
The awardees received a plaque of recognition from the DENR.
Meanwhile, the provincial office of the DENR in Pampanga, as well as the community offices in Capas in Tarlac and Muñoz in Nueva Ecija were likewise recognized for their outstanding accomplishment in forest protection.
Arthur Salazar, deputy director for Technical Services of the DENR, stressed the importance of unity and collaboration among partner agencies as an important tool to curb illegal logging.
“Our forests and the natural resources therein are of valuable importance to propel economic growth in the region, and we need to work doubly hard to protect them. Exerting our strength in opposite directions will lead to a weak action, but by working toward one direction will empower us to attain our objectives,” he said.