PIA Press Release
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
DENR official supports law on stiffer penalty on illegal loggingby Joseph B Zambrano
BAGUIO CITY, Jan. 10 (PIA) -- Department of Environment and Natural Resources(DENR)- Cordillera executive director Clarence Baguilat believes that the bill seeking the imposition of life imprisonment on illegal loggers, if finally approved, would instill fear to those who intend to or are into illegal logging more so if this is unbailable offense.
Under the Sustainable Forest Management Act of 2011 or HB 5485 which was recently passed by the House of Representatives, harvesting gathering or collecting timber or other forest products from any forestland with a market value of more than P500,000 and without authority from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) would be illegal and punishable with life imprisonment.
Those who buy logs, flitches and lumber from illegal loggers will also suffer the same penalty.
If this bill finally becomes a law, the DENR will implement it with full force as we should really protect our few remaining virgin forest covers, Baguilat added.
Meanwhile, Ifugao Congressman Teodoro Baguilat Jr. said he supports the bill, but he emphasized that there should be qualification for exemption covering ancestral lands of Indigenous Peoples (IPs) who cut trees for their traditional subsistence like wood carving and other domestic use.
Long before, the IPs have lived in the forest and get their livelihood from there but they are not involved in any massive logging or cutting of trees, Baguilat said.
He also cited the IP’s traditional and sustainable forest management practices like the inhabitants of Ifugao who practice the “muyong “system which is a recognized watershed rehabilitation technique, a farming system and an assisted natural regeneration forest conservation strategy.(JDP/JBZ- PIA CAR)