Compostela intensifies drive vs illegal logging

The Provincial Local Government of Compostela Valley under the leadership of Gov. Jayvee Tyron L. Uy together with the national agencies and key partners signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to intensify the anti-illegal logging activities in the province.

The MOA also paved the way for the creation of the Anti-Illegal Logging Task Force in the province.

The signing of the agreement was facilitated last February 13, Monday at the Capitol Building in Nabunturan town.

Participating agencies that will join the anti-illegal logging drives in Compostela Valley include the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) led by provincial director Chamberlain J. Babiera; the Department Of Interior And Local Government (DILG) under provincial director Noel C. Duarte; Department Of Education-(DEPED) Division through Division Superintendent Reynante A. Solitario; the League Of Municipalities of the Philippines-Comval Chapter by its president, Mayor Roberto M. Yugo; Philippine National Police (PNP) under provincial director Senior Supt. Armando S. De Leon; the Armed Forces Of The Philippines- 1001st Infantry Brigade under Brig. General Macairog S. Alberto; and the 1003rd Infantry Brigade through Col. Ricardo R. Nepomuceno.

The signed MOA served as a legal basis of the Executive Order No. 23 that declared a moratorium on the cutting and harvesting of timber in the natural and residual forests in the province.

The MOA also mandated the task force to take the lead in the anti-illegal logging campaigns and ensure the implementation of EO No. 23 under the supervision of the DENR.

The PNP and the army, on the other hand, will provide assistance to the DENR in the enforcement of other environmental laws.

For its part, the DILG in the province shall assist in the dissemination of the EO No. 23 in municipalities and barangays in Compostela Valley.

Local officials are also tasked to provide information or report to the DENR any illegal logging activities and timber poaching within their respective jurisdictions.

The task of DEPED in the campaign will be based on the provisions of Republic Act 9512, otherwise known as “National Environmental Awareness and Education Act of 2008”, that defines the important role of educational institutions in environmental education.

The LMP, on the other hand, will encourage all municipal mayors to support the anti-illegal logging campaign and provide information to the task force. (Julie Ann Dela Cerna, IDS ComVal)