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PIA Press Release
Saturday, January 28, 2012


Gov't boosts nature protection drive

BUTUAN CITY, Jan. 28 (PIA) -- Deeply concerned regarding the series of calamities that brought flood waters and landslides, the Aquino administration, through the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), stepped up the government’s environment preservation and forest protection without any preservation, and also pushed the “greening” program in Mindanao.

In his directive to all regional directors, city, and provincial environment and natural resources officers, DENR Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje, said “environment preservation and forest protection must be redoubled and all violators must be put to jail”.

Paje reiterated again Sunday his appeal to all local government officials to revisit the geohazard maps distributed by the agency and institute mitigating measures to shield communities from danger.

He also asked the local officials to cease from further issuing small-scale mining (SSM) permits as the DENR no longer issues environmental compliance certificate (ECC) for SSM.

Paje sounded off the appeal in the wake of the Pantukan landslide, which has already reportedly claimed 30 lives as of press time while many are still missing.

“I want you to close ranks and I also want you to closely coordinate with your respective local officials in the strict implementation of forestry laws, rules and regulations,” said Paje, in his directive to his DENR field officials.

Just recently, the anti-illegal logging task force of Region Xlll DENR Regional Executive Director Leonardo R. Sibbaluca apprehended 1, 723 pieces of illegally-cut logs of mix dipterocarp and miscellaneous species along the giant Agusan river.

The said seized forest products are now deposited at DENR Monitoring Station in Bit-os, Butuan City, ready for donation to Department of Education (DepEd) for school materials.

On the other hand, DENR Region-11 Director Jim O. Sampulna also reported the region’s task force confiscated a total of 4,319 cubic meters of illegally sourced or transported forest products with an estimated market value of 19,652,264.97.

Part of the seized items were donated to the DepED-11for the manufacture of school armchairs, desks, teachers’ table, and other school facilities.

In another development, the Land Management Service (LMS) of the DENR-11 has approved some 4,964 New Residential Free Patent titles covering about 81.49 hectares in the Southern Mindanao region.

Following its full implementation of Republic Act (RA) 10023 or the New Residential Free Patent Act, LMS-11 has approved a total of 1,332 NRFPs in Davao Oriental, while 1,001 in Davao del Norte.

While the approved titles in Compostela Valley reached to 1,429, and there were 1,202 new titles in Davao del Sur and Davao City.

The LMS has targeted a total of 6,627 Residential Free Patent titles for the whole region in 2012.

Sampulna has instructed Regional Technical Director of Lands Management Service Office to hit their target according to a time frame, and also to coordinate closely with the local government units (LGUs) regarding RA 10023.

“The LGUs should help the DENR in informing their constituents about this law so that whoever is qualified to apply can get their land title with a very minimum expense,” added Sampulna. (MUC/PIA-Caraga)

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