THE crackdown on illegal logging netted 60 persons and the seizure of P3.2 million worth of lumber in the Cordillera region.

Police Regional Office-Cordillera (PRO-COR) together with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) intensified its campaign resulting to the arrest of 60 violators aside from confiscating P3.2 million worth of illegal lumber since 2017.

In 2017, a total of 163 illegal logging operations were conducted which resulted in the arrest of 47 individuals and the filing of 17 cases in court.

Police also impounded 25 vehicles, confiscated nine chainsaws and 68,587.93 board feet of illegally sawn lumber with a total value of P2,912,851.95.

The province of Benguet recorded the most number of recovered lumber with 25,166.32 board feet, followed by Apayao with 19,235.16; Mt. Province with 8,154.77; Baguio with 5,241,97; Kalinga with 4,657.95; Ifugao with 3,659.81; while the least number of confiscated lumber was recorded in the province of Abra with a total of 2,471.95.

In the first quarter of this year, the 24 police operations resulted in the arrest of 13 persons and the filing of eight cases in court including the confiscation of a chainsaw, three vehicles impounded, and 9358.82 board feet with a market value of P371,406.66 illegally sawn lumber were seized.

Benguet recorded the most number of recovered lumber with a total of 4,071.43 board feet, followed by Mt. Province with 1,598; then Abra with 1,265; Ifugao with 1,162.00; Apayao with 831.39; Kalinga with 431.00; while Baguio City recorded zero.

Following the confiscation, regional director Chief Superintendent Edward Carranza ordered PRO-COR personnel to continue to provide appropriate support and assistance to the DENR in the strict implementation of the national government’s anti-illegal logging campaign to preserve and protect the remaining forest resources in the region.

"The PNP will continue to be effective in this campaign if the people will religiously report any violation of our Forestry Laws,” Carranza added.

The President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the arrest of all persons involved in illegal logging as well as illegal mining, impound into of vehicles used and dismantling of sawmills.

The President enjoined the full participation of all agencies concerned to perform their duties and responsibilities in the implementation of the anti-illegal logging and mining laws.

Under the order, LGUs will be made to explain and be charged administratively if they fail to stop illegal logging activities in their area.