Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said he is intensifying the Department’s anti-illegal logging campaign specifically in the Caraga Region to address, once and for all, illegal logging activities thereat. He revealed this during his recent meeting with the top officials of DENR Davao Region held at DENR-XI regional office.
He also said during the meeting that he will include Regions 11 and 10 as part of the campaign as there are instances that illegally-cut logs are being transported towards these regions most especially in Davao.
“I will include you in this campaign because you are from the DENR and you are part of the Department’s efforts in solving this problem. We will intensify our operations by also mobilizing the Philippine Army, the Philippine National Police and the National Bureau of Investigations,” he said.
Cimatu also reminded his officials that apprehensions of illegally-cut logs should not be considered an accomplishment but rather the Department should aim for these trees to remain in the forest, uncut.
“The mission of the DENR is to prevent illegal logging activities to happen and not to go after these illegal loggers who have already cut down the trees. Our objective is not to be able to confiscate but rather to make sure that no trees were cut and there are still trees standing in our forest. That is my challenge I am giving to all of you,” he said.
The Secretary also stressed that illegal logging is a syndicated crime and having connivance with illegal loggers and miners are just one part of the problem that he will look into.
“This is our campaign the reason why we should maintain our professionalism when it comes to illegal logging. If we can solve the problems in Boracay, surely we can also solve our problems on illegal logging as well as illegal mining activities most especially that we have direct orders from President Rodrigo Duterte to look into these issues.”
Last March, Cimatu ordered all his Provincial and Community Environment and Natural Resources Officers (PENROs and CENROs) to put a stop to all illegal logging operations in Mindanao. They were directed to arrest all violators of the mining and forestry laws, rules and regulations and charge them in court.
The Department is hoping that all stakeholders, law enforcement agencies and local government units will help them in their campaign to be able to properly and successfully address these environmental issues. (DENR-XI PR)