Philippines: Illegal loggers operating in Northern Sierra Madre National Park

Gov. Grace Padaca said the illegal loggers responsible for denuding forests in northern Quezon are now gaining access to the province’s remaining forested areas through the Northern Sierra Madre National Park, supposedly protected by the national government.  Padaca, whom Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Lito Atienza has deputized to go after illegal logging syndicates, said more than 100 illegal loggers and timber poachers from Quezon – whom she has tagged as the “Quezon boys” have already started their operations in Isabela’s timber areas in the Sierra Madre, especially along its remote Pacific coast.

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She said these illegal loggers, mostly from the northern towns of Mauban and Real, are either directly involved in the illegal extraction and transport by sea of timber from Isabela or are financing these illegal activities. Padaca said the situation has prompted them to be more vigilant in safeguarding Isabela’s remaining vast forests from illegal logging.

The “Quezon boys” are taking advantage of the lack of forest guards – numbering only 50 and aging – who have to guard some 600,000 hectares of forestlands, the country’s biggest remaining forest cover, she said. Meanwhile, the provincial government-led illegal logging task force has seized more than half-a-million board feet of illegally cut timber in the last six months, proof that illegal logging has persisted. Since Padaca reactivated the task force in June last year, provincial administrator Paul Fernandez said there have been continuous seizures of illegally cut hardwood and other forest products which have reached at least 600,000 board feet.

Comments (1)

Glenn TorresJuly 25th, 2009 at 7:10 pm

revive death penalty. include all marauders of natural resources, their patrons and sponsors-political or otherwise. they are no different with rapist, arsonists, carnappers, kidnappers, swindlers, murderers, etc. death may not even be enough…

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