CAUAYAN CITY, Isabela: The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 2 has identified at least four illegal logging “hotspots,” particularly in the provinces of Isabela and Quirino.
DENR Regional Technical Director Wilfredo Malvar said these areas are located in the tri-boundary of San Mariano, Dinapigue and San Guillermo, Jones and San Agustin towns in Isabela and Barangays San Dionisio and Disimungal in Maddela and Nagtipunan towns in Quirino.
During an aerial survey conducted over the cited areas, Malvar said DENR personnel spotted floating lumber at Barangay Tappa in San Mariano, Isabela.
“Illegal loggers have even established their camp sites with logging trucks where we spotted floating lumbers and stockpiles along Pinacanauan de Ilaguen River particularly at the tri-municipal boundary of San Mariano, San Guillermo and Dinapigue in Isabela,” he said.
The DENR official added, “There is difficulty [in confiscating]said [lumber]due to the remoteness of the place. The cost of hauling those forest products from the mountain is more expensive than the total cost of the illegal [lumber].”
However, Malvar stressed that the number of illegal logging hotspots in the region has been reduced from 14. He credited the decrease to the implementation of Executive Order (EO) 23, which imposed a total log ban all over the country.
Moreover, in a DENR report presented during the recently held Regional Peace and Order Council meeting here, Malvar revealed that the decrease in the number of illegal logging hotspots was achieved through the collaboration of various law enforcement agencies.
The DENR official said only remnants of illegal logging operations exist as of the end of October this year.
DENR officials have assured that the department will intensify its efforts to stop all logging operations in the region’s natural and residual forests pursuant to EO 23.