CHARCOAL MAKER CHARGED FOR FOREST LAW VIOLATION

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BACOLOD CITY: A charcoal maker from the mountain town of Salvador Benedicto, Negros Occidental was charged with violating the NIPAS (National Integrated Protected Areas System) Act of 1992. Personnel of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) caught Rolando Oyco of Barangay Igmaya-an, Salvador Benedicto attending to his charcoal pit. Northern Negros Natural Park (NNNP) staffers and a peoples’ organization president found cut trees scattered in the village while patrolling the protected forest. Oyco had with him assorted natural-grown forest tree species of various sizes and dimensions. He was about to use them for charcoal making without authorization from the NNNP and the Protected Area Management Board, the DENR said. Ten trees, cut for charcoal making, with an estimated volume of 4.59 cubic meters, were confiscated. Edgardo Rostata, head of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office, and lawyers Cheryll Rose Librero and Bronwen May Lagura of the DENR-Negros Island Region’s Legal Division filed the complaint against Oyco. Rostata encouraged communities to actively participate in forest protection and report similar incidents and other environmental law violations to his office.

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EUGENE Y. ADIONG

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