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  • Writer's pictureChristian Malnawa

Creation of Anti-Illegal Logging Task Force in Balbalan ordered

Updated: Oct 17, 2022

Balbalan, Kalinga – To intensify the fight against illegal logging in the province, the Local Government Unit of Balbalan was ordered by the Kalinga Provincial Environment and Natural Resources to create a task force that will assist the agency in the enforcement of rules and regulations against illegal logging.

The call for the creation of an anti-illegal logging task force was made after the agency was notified that some communities in Balbalan are actively engaging in illegal logging operations, not only for personal use but mostly for business.

Some locals were reported to have been transporting and selling lumbers to neighboring municipalities.

CENRO Officer Francisco Balutoc, in a meeting with Mayor Almar Malannag and other national-line agencies, even mentioned the names of said barangays engaged in the illegal activity for officials to act on the issue.

Balutoc, thru Balbalan LGU report, said on Thursday, July 21, that the presence of various access roads in the locality may have contributed to the rise of illegal logging activities, giving convenience to illegal loggers to freely transport lumbers to other municipalities.

Provisions of PD 705 to be used as guide by the taskforce to be formed in performance of duties

The CENRO officer explained the task force will be guided by the provisions of PD 705 and by Executive Order No. 23 issued by then President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino in the composition and exercise of its functions. The provision of said laws and order are as follows:

• Cutting, gathering, and possession of timbers and/or forest products either situated in communal forests or in private lands regardless of whether those forest products have grown naturally or being planted by private individuals require issuance of permits/licenses from the DENR. Violators are penalized under 309 and 310 of the Revised Penal code;

• In all cases of violations in the Forest Code or other forest laws, rules and regulations, the DENR may order the confiscation of forest products illegally cut, gathered, or possessed/abandoned, to include all conveyances used either by land, water, or air in the commission of the offense, and to dispose of the same in accordance with pertinent laws, policies, regulations on that matter;

• Apprehending officers must turn over confiscated products to the DENR;

• Pasturing livestock without a permit in forest lands and in alienable and disposable lands not yet disposed of is prohibited; and

• Chainsaw owners/operators shall also be obliged to comply with the registration of their chainsaws in accordance with the rules and regulations provided by the Chainsaw Act.

Meantime, to further help with solving the issue, barangay local government units and the Balbalan LGU are urged to enact ordinances and resolutions that would put a stop to the further degradation of forests in the locality.

Balbalan LGU shall also take charge of monitoring the compliance of every barangay captain in making sure that illegal tree-cutting, kaingin and other kinds of deforestation in their barangays.

Before issuing business licenses for the operation of their businesses, barangay captains are tasked to require owners of wood-based enterprises and furniture shops to provide documentation of legitimate sources for their raw materials, including lumber.


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