Duterte stops logging operations in Zamboanga Peninsula

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the suspension of logging operations in the Zamboanga Peninsula, Malacañang said on Tuesday, January 9.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said the President gave the directive during a Cabinet meeting held at the Malacañan Palace on Monday, January 8.

Roque said this developed after Duterte learned that indigenous peoples have been displaced because of logging activities.

He added that Duterte had noticed that the logging operations were believed to be the cause of flash floods in Mindanao, during the onslaught of Tropical Storm Vinta (international name Tembin) in late December 2017.

"The President ordered several logging concessions in Zamboanga Peninsula suspended," he told Palace reporters.

"This after he was apprised of concerns of indigenous populations that they have been displaced by logging operations of some companies. And he also observed that it is widespread logging that is responsible for the flash floods that Mindanao experienced only this month of December with two typhoons," he added.

On Monday, January 8, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said Sodaco Agricultural Corporation, a private firm that holds a 60,000-hectare concession under Department of Environment and Natural Reources' (DENR) Integrated Social Forestry, was among those ordered to stop logging activities in the mountain range of the peninsula.

Piñol, in a Facebook post, said the President ordered DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu to issue a closure order on Sodaco's logging operations. (SunStar Philippines)
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