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PIA Press Release

DENR lays out forest protection strategies to stop illegal logging

Butuan City (February 11) -- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) laid down forest protection strategies to secure forest lands and watershed areas against timber poachers in the Caraga region.

In a Management Conference (Mancom) at the regional office here on Tuesday, the top regional, provincial, city and community forestry officials of the DENR led by Regional Executive Director Edilberto S. Buiser, mobilized all forest protection committees composed of all sectors to strengthen the ongoing forest protection drive in identified ?target areas?.

The no non-sense forest protection campaign of the DENR last year netted at least 7,000 pieces of illegally-cut logs and 3,500 pieces of them were already turned over to the Natural Resources and Development Corp. (NRDC), marketing arm of the DENR.

The Mancom, which was attended by top regional environment officials, five Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Offices and 13 Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices (PENRO's/CENRO's) laid down strategies for massive forest protection campaign.

Included in the agenda is the forest protection of the expired 179,582 hectares forest land of Picop Resources Inc. (PRI) in Surigao del Sur and Agusan del Sur and part of Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley and the expired 56,093.81 hectares of concession areas of Nasipit Lumber Company (NALCO) in Agusan del Norte and part of Agusan del Sur and Misamis Oriental.

The region's environment officials also made an action plan for close forest supervision with the newly organized ?Bantay Kabuhatan Alpha?, a 25-strong stakeholders group coming from various agencies of the government and non-government organizations purposely to help protect and manage PRI concession area.

The DENR already inked a co-management sub-agreement with the local government units to help protect and manage in said areas. The management agreements were immediately forwarded to the central office Manila for approval. In that Mancom meeting, the regional leadership of the DENR also directed all PENROs and CENROs to strengthen all key monitoring stations spread at various strategic areas in the region to avert the passing of illegally-cut forest products.

The legal division of the DENR Caraga, along with the legal team of the PENROs and CENROs also strengthened for the cases already filed in court against violators of the Forestry Code of the Philippines.

The officials also reviewed and made action strategies on the department's Upland Development Program (UDP).

Meanwhile, at least 26,848 new employment and livelihood opportunities will be available in the land, mining and forestry services for the first half of the year which could be availed by upland families, including unemployed persons in the rural areas who lost jobs due to the global financial crisis.

Acting Environment Secretary Eleazar P. Quinto is optimistic about what 2010 holds for the employment outlook in the natural resources management between January and June which was based on DENR's six-year performance in its job-generation program in support to the Arroyo Administration's commitment to create up to 10 million jobs.

Citing projections based on government's continued policy on encouraging investments in responsible mining and sustainable forest resource management, Quinto said around 12,955 new jobs in the mining sector await those in communities that host mining projects with 1,860 and 455 jobs as laborers in land surveys and forest boundary delineation activities, respectively.

Secretary Quinto attributed the new employment opportunities in the mining sector to the government's performance in attracting new investments.

The DENR expects to be given some P12.1 billion for its 2010 budget. (muc/PIA-Caraga) [top]

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