Philippines: Raids in Infanta, Quezon, Tanay & Rizal nets lots of illegal logs and chainsaws

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) seized six
heavy-duty Stihl chain saws and 6,872 board feet of lumber and
flitches during a string of anti-illegal logging operations in
Infanta, Quezon, and Tanay, Rizal, early this month. DENR Secretary
Lito Atienza, who presented the seized chainsaws t,o the media at the
DENR grounds in Quezon City, said the confiscation of the chainsaws
bolstered their suspicion that illegal logging is on the rise with the
onset of the summer season in the two provinces.

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“The seizures confirmed our suspicion that illegal logging is on the
upswing with the onset of the summer season. If left unabated, this
will ruin further our already ravaged forests. “That’s why we are
stepping up our forest-protection efforts by strengthening our
partnership with other law-enforcement agencies of the government,
such as the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the
Philippines, as well as nongovernment organizations and other
sectors,” Atienza said.

Atienza disclosed that the oper-atives of DENR’s Environmental Law Enforcement Task Force (ELETF) were backed up by elements from the Naval Intelligence Special Forces of the Philippine Navy and the 1st and 16th Infantry Batallions of the Philippine Army based in Infanta, Quezon, and Tanay, Rizal, respectively. Initial reports showed that the chain saws were not registered with the local DENR offices in Infanta and Tanay, which is
in violation of Republic Act (RA) 9175, or the Chain Saw Act of 2002, which regulates the ownership and use of chain saws in the country.

“These chain saws are on the high-end of the market and only big-time
financiers taking advantage of our poor upland farmers can afford to
provide them with these expensive equipment,” Atienza said, as he
cited that job opportunities in uplands are now being opened up by the
government through the “Green Collar Jobs” program meant to precisely
give upland dwellers a better alternative livelihood instead of
allowing themselves to be exploited by financers of illegal-logging
operations.

A brand-new chain saw costs as much as P40,000, while a
secondhand one costs about P18,000. The ELETF operation in sitio
Alas-asin, barangay Daraitan in Tanay, Rizal, led to the apprehension
of four “stilh” chain saws and a passenger jeepney loaded with 101
pieces of lumber, with a total volume of 1,342 board feet, and 30
pieces of flitches equivalent to 1,095 board feet. Another operation
of ELEFT at sitio Manggahan in the same barangay netted a chain saw
and 54 pieces of lumber equivalent to 860 board feet.

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Comments (1)

Norman CaoileJune 23rd, 2009 at 7:15 pm

Illegal logging is one of the big problem in the Philippines, try to open the google earth in your PC and u can see the massive cutting of trees in the mountains of Sierra Madre particularly in the provinces of Rizal, Quezon & Aurora. The possibility of lanslide will occur and the avalanche of mud and debris will go through Metro Manila. I have been assigned in these areas as an Infantryman and i observed that the populace in this place mostly rely on logging for their daily needs.

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