• SBMA wants custody of logs taken from Subic forest

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    SUBIC BAY FREEPORT: A conflict appeared brewing between the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) over the custody of some 100 logs cut from the forest trees here.

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    SBMA Chairman Roberto Garcia said logs from trees cut down inside the Subic forest should be the property of the SBMA that should be used for the benefit of the SBMA or the Aeta community here.

    Garcia said a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between them and the environment department must be reached to avoid future confusion as to the control and disposition over resources and properties within the SMBA jurisdiction.

    Last week, eight dump trucks loaded with more than 100 logs were impounded by SBMA Law Enforcement Department (LED) Forest Rangers on suspicion that they lacked the necessary documents.

    The decades-old trees on Aeta ancestral land inside the SMBA were cut down to give way to the ongoing construction of an 800-hectare $200 million solar and wind facility here.

    But Olongapo City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) chief, Marife Castillo, told members of the media that the DENR had issued a permit to cut down trees and transport them.

    Garcia added that LED had released the dump trucks with the logs last Friday for safekeeping at a DENR depository in Olongapo.

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