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PIA Press Release
2006/10/05

DENR holds consultation to fight illegal logging

by Mai Gevera and N. Duallo

DAVAO ORIENTAL (5 October) -- In an effort to shed light on all controversies and allegations hurled against the department, the Regional office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) appeared in a public consultation in the municipality of Cateel, Davao Oriental.

DENR XI chief Recardo Calderon discussed with the residents of Cateel the ways on how to face and address the problem of illegal logging in the area.

To clarify issues implicating the said agency of tolerating illegal logging in the said town, DENR-XI presented the difference between those logging companies with existing permits and those without permits.

Recently, some residents complained against the DENR and its lenient policies for allowing illegal logging in Cateel. This has pushed the DENR to conduct public consultation where the government sector laid the existing policies and at the same time informed the people on their role of being the agency's partner in catching illegal logging activities in the area. Calderon clarified that under existing policies of the department, the agency is allowed to issue permits for legal loggers.

Also, the department explained the process in getting the necessary permit.

In here, the department made a thorough presentation to make the people understand the bulk of work for DENR, and to the systems and regulations entailed therein.

Calderon also delineated the resources used in the area, the developments prevailing now, and the natural resources management situationer for the region, and for the province.

Through the consultation, the department was able to show the different activities of DENR in the region and in the province.

In the consultation, the representatives from the Community-Based Forest Management Association (CBFMA), the youth, the Christian communities, and other sectors were given the chance to raise their respective concerns.

Calderon also presented the different Integrated Forest Management Agreements (IFMAs) in the area, and the current state of operation, including the mining activities in the province of Davao Oriental.

The Regional Director was happy with the way the people responded to the presentation.

"Even the young ones who also have queries in their minds understood the presentation", Calderon disclosed.

He is optimistic that they were able to come out with a very comprehensive and well-balanced presentation.

He also boasts of the continuous complete coordination with the province, particularly the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer (PENRO), and the local government, which he rightfully consider as partner in the implementation of laws.

Commenting on the Aliwagwag Bridge tragedy, Calderon described the event as an isolated case.

Though the loss of lives really hurts, but we have to face the law, and the law must be fully implemented.

DENR already filed appropriate cases against those involve in the illegal logging activity.

He revealed that they took custody of the trucks, which carried the illegal logs, and later turned it over to the nearest Police station.

Calderon clarified that the department is absolutely abiding to transparency in public service.

The Consultation was attended by three CENRO Officers: Eduardo Ragasa of Manay, Melchor Osaraga of Baganga, and Romeo Torres of Mati.

Also in attendance were members of the St. Joseph the Apostles Multi-Sectoral Alliance, led by Fr. Darwey Clark, with Fr. Bert Ombon, the Indigenous Peoples Apostolate (IPA) Diocesan Coordination. (PIA-XI) [top]

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