ELEVEN unregistered chainsaws worth more than P124,000 were confiscated by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in its intensified anti-illegal logging campaign in Pampanga in 2020.

Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (Penro) head Laudemir Salac said their campaign against illegal chainsaws came from the marching order of environment secretary Roy Cimatu to prevent the actual cutting of trees in the forest areas to save the remaining natural resources.

“This is one of our strategies or innovations to curb timber poaching in our forest lands in the province. Instead of the traditional approach of apprehending suspected illegal loggers while transporting forest contrabands, we go after those unregistered chainsaws, which may be used in illegal cutting of trees,” he explained.

He said timber poachers usually used chainsaws which are not registered with the DENR and this approach may help prevent the actual cutting of standing trees in our forest.

“Along with this, we also intensify further our illegal logging operations including the strict monitoring of lumber sources and supply of our registered lumber dealer and hardware,” he added.

Section 6 of Republic Act No. 9175 or the Chainsaw Act of 2002 states that all persons who own or are otherwise in possession of chainsaws must register with the DENR.

It identifies those persons authorized to possess and use a chainsaw such as those with subsisting timber license agreement or a private land timber permit, an orchard, tree, and industrial farmer, a license wood processor and the chainsaw shall be used for cutting of timber that has been legally sold to the applicant, and those shall use for a legal purpose.

The law also states that the selling, purchasing, re-selling, transferring, distributing, or possessing a chainsaw without a proper permit from the DENR shall be imprisoned for a maximum of six years or a fine of not more than P30,000.

Since 2018, Penro has already confiscated a total of 18 illegal chainsaws worth P214,000.