DENR-13 confiscates P7.386 million worth of illegal lumber products from poachers in 5 months operations

By Herzon F. Gallego 

BUTUAN CITY – For the first five months in 2017, the DENR Enforcement Division under Modesto Lagumbay Jr. has apprehended and confiscated 1,824,098.4 bd. ft. of illegal forest products in the five provinces of Caraga Region. The total value of these confiscated illegal forest products is P 7, 386,576.76 which are now placed in the different depository areas of the DENR.

DENR 13 OIC, Regional Director Charlie E. Fabre upon looking at the tabulated report submitted to him by the enforcement division said “The figures are bad indication that timber poaching are very much active in some areas spite of the prevailing ban on harvesting and cutting of trees in natural and residual forest under EO 23.”

The conduct of foot patrols in the forest areas by the teams of the LAWIN Forest and Biodiversity Protection System formed by the DENR may have been helpful in the monitoring of illegal cutting of trees and illegal trading of endangered species in the forest areas but these strategies need to be boosted further by the full support of the community who knew where these illegal activities are taking place. 

The DENR personnel may have intensified its “search and confiscate operation” of illegal forest products in areas considered as “hot spots or areas with high incidence of illegal cuttings” but the timer poachers and smugglers are elusive considering that no one has been jailed for charges with violation of PD 705 known as the Philippines Forestry Laws, Rules and Regulations with lower penalties.

“It appears that the ones doing the illegal logging activities have better monitoring gadgets but nevertheless the hands of the law will catch them” Forester Lagumbay said.

RD Fabre said the DENR has trained personnel and acquired drones equipment to track down poaching activities inside forest areas side by side with the intense foot patrols of the members of LAWIN and the enforcement division led by the CENR officers.

Agusan del Sur registered the most number of apprehended and seized illegal forest products with a total of 732,549 bd.ft. lumber products and 2,100 cubic meters (7,494 pieces) cut logs valued at P 3,331,821.66.

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