DEPARTMENT of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año on Monday, November 23, 2020, ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) and local government units (LGUs) to strengthen the campaign against illegal logging and illegal quarrying as well as expedite the planting of trees in coordination with the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
Año issued the order in the wake of massive flooding in several parts of the country caused by Typhoons Rolly and Ulysses.
Año said all LGUs and PNP units across the country must prioritize the protection of the environment.
“We must act quickly and in a whole-of-society fashion to protect our remaining forests across the country otherwise we are creating and causing more disasters for our country,” he said.
“The flooding brought by Typhoon Ulysses is a harsh reminder that we are failing at doing our level best to protect the environment, especially our remaining forest cover. Kayat inaatasan ko ang lahat ng PNP units at LGUs na pigilan ang illegal logging at illegal quarrying sa kanilang mga nasasakupan,” he added.
Año said local Anti-Illegal Logging Task Forces composed of the DENR, DILG, Department of National Defense, Armed Forces of the Philippines, PNP and LGUs in coordination with the Provincial and Community Environment and Natural Resources Office of the DENR should be strengthened.
“It is imperative that we must stop the wanton destruction of our remaining forest resources not only for our sake but also for future generations who will suffer the consequences of our inaction,” he said.
Meantime, Año admitted that not all mayors are involved in illegal logging and quarrying, which triggered the massive destruction during the onslaught of the typhoons.
“Merong mga instance na ganun, pero 'di naman lahat. Merong hindi naman siya kasabwat, pero alam niya. Alam mo na, baka nagbibigay din ng pondo sa kampanya, sumusuporta sa kandidatura,” he said.
“Dapat paigtingin ito nationwide sa pangunguna dapat ng DENR supported by the Armed Forces of the Philippines at saka Philippine National Police. This time, dapat istrikto talaga tayo. Walang perso-personalidad dito, kahit politician ka,” he added. (SunStar Philippines)