DENR pushes cancellation of delinquent forestry contracts
Iloilo City (13 December) -- Environment Secretary Michael T. Defensor has instructed his regional executive directors to immediately cancel some 276 forestry contracts of erring timber firms and upland-based organizations following discovery of violations.
These violations ranged from poor reforestation performance, abandonment, and failure to implement preparedness measures to forest fires.
These contracts cover a period of 25 years, which allow holders to plant and harvest timber trees and other minor forest products like rattan and yantok.
Defensor said that these tenurial agreements with corporations and individuals are cancelled because they are not complying with DENR regulations. He added that the agency expects that by next year it can cancel the contracts of all violators so that the forests can be efficiently protected.
The cancellation order came after Defensor called for an in-depth evaluation of all existing forest tenurial instruments in December last year, to weed out delinquent holders of Industrial Forest Management Agreements (IFMA), Industrial Tree Plantation Lease Agreement (ITPLAs), and community-Based Forest Management Agreements (CBFMAs). (PIA 6) [top]