Around 60,142 board feet of illegal logs, lumber flitches and other forest products have been seized across the Soccsksargen Region of the Philippines from January until May this year according to a report from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). Source: Philippine Information Agency (PIA)
The report was made public during the DENR 12 Regional Executive Director (RED) Adeluisa G. Siapno’s meeting with members of the media.
The same report indicated that the confiscated items were seized in the Sarangani Province, in General Santos City, in the Sultan Kudarat province, in North Cotabato, and in Cotabato City.
The largest volume involved lauan and yakal lumber and flitches and was seized from Sitio Labudog, Upo in Maitum town, Saragani in May.
Dr. Siapno said that illegal logging and cutting of trees in Soccsksargen is not as massive as in other regions in the country but the department is addressing the problem of further degradation of the region’s forest cover through massive reforestation in partnership with community-based groups in accordance with the Aquino administration’s National Greening Program (NGP).
Unlike in the traditional reforestation program, she explained, the NGP approach encourages people’s organizations to plant indigenous trees, which they will manage and later use to earn income. This approach is intended to inspire a sense of ownership and volunteerism among communities that in turn could help curtail illegal cutting of trees.
Apart from the massive reforestation, DENR 12 has also intensified monitoring of illegal transport of forest products in cooperation with other authorities.
DENR field offices across the region have also been directed to conduct regular inspection of lumberyards, saw mills and dealers against entry of illegally cut lumber.
Forfeited forest products are donated to offices that are in need of support for their construction works.