Davao, Caraga join forces against illegal logging
Subscribe Now April 14, 2021 at 08:27am
DAVAO DEL NORTE, April 13 (PIA) – The Davao and Caraga regions have created a Joint Inter-Regional Taskforce against illegal logging through a Joint Special Order.
The Signing of the Joint Special Order was held at Miko’s Brew, Tagum City, Davao del Norte on April 12, 2021.
Department of Environment and Natural Resource (DENR) Region XIII Executive Director Nonito M. Tamayo said that this joint effort was done to strengthen the enforcement of anti-illegal logging laws in the borders of Davao and Caraga regions.
“Base sa mga reports na ating naririnig mula sa ating field offices sa PENRO at CENRO, marami pa rin tayong confiscations sa border na ito, meaning patuloy pa rin ang mga illegal logging activities na nanyayari (Based on the reports we’ve heard from our field offices in PENRO and CENRO, there are still many confiscations in this border, meaning, illegal logging activities have continued),” he said.
He added that timber poaching, in particular, have remained rampant in the border of Caraga Region and Davao Region despite the official prohibition of logging of national trees since 2011 and the department’s “scores of accomplishments” over the years.
“Hindi lang kami ngayon ang magbabantay diyan kasi common border namin yan from both sides maglalagay kami ng tao that will help us in manning (We [Region XIII] will no longer be the only ones safeguarding there because that is a common border of both sides; manpower will be added),” he explained.
Additionally, DENR XI Executive Director Bagani Fidel A. Evasco said that one of the strategies of the taskforce is to put monitoring stations on the contested borders of Agusan del Sur and Davao de Oro so that both regions can file cases against illegal loggers in the borders.
“Foresters can also be embedded in the camps of Philippine National Police (PNP) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to educate them on what kind of trees are illegally poached in certain areas,” Evasco added.
Furthermore, with an incident of death having already been reported among the anti-illegal logging enforcers, Tamayo revealed that through this joint inter-regional taskforce, joint checkpoints in tandem with the police, the military, the local government units, and the communities will be established at the borders.
“Very risky, kasi nga this is enforcement. Involved dito yung, sabihin ko na, kabuhayan ito ng mga apektadong tao eh. Siguro wala silang ibang pinagkukunan ng pamumuhay kaya namumutol sila kahit illegal (Because this is enforcement. Involved here are, I will say, the livelihood of the affected people. Maybe they have no other source of livelihood that’s why they are logging even if illegal),” Tamayo said.
For this, Evasco advised those affected to consult with their LGUs as there will be assistance programs that will help them in acquiring livelihood particularly through the rehabilitation programs by DENR that will be conducted on the campsites, allowing for job opportunities.
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