Latest Stories

Loggers target Pangasinan’s last rainforest

DAGUPAN CITY—Pangasinan’s largest remaining rainforest in Mangatarem town is threatened by illegal logging after roads were built deep into the forest for easier hauling of logs, environment officials said.

Leduina Co, provincial environment and natural resources officer, said a team from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Mangatarem government and the military inspected the forest last week and discovered illegal logging there.

Co said an unpaved road cutting through the mountains of Mangatarem, which was built without permit from the DENR, made it easier for loggers to enter the area.

Co was referring to a road  that traverses the mountain boundary of Pangasinan and Zambales.  She quoted reports as saying a resident of Mangatarem funded the construction of the road’s 19-kilometer section in Pangasinan. The road stretches to 55 km.

She said the road zigzagged through heavy timber areas when a straight road could have been built from grasslands in the area.

“Worse, the Department of Public Works and Highways said the project was not programmed, it did not have funding and was not covered by any contract. But it was constructed by [a Mangatarem resident] who claimed to have backing from an official in Zambales,” she said.

Co said there was no sense in building the road because there were no economic trading activities between the two provinces.

“Besides, it would be difficult for even 4×4 (off-road) vehicles to pass through that road. Maybe some try, but they no longer return and pass that route again,” she said.

From the main artery, the government inspection team discovered a network of smaller roads and trails that go deeper into the forest. There, the team saw felled trees, stumps and lumber ready for hauling.

But there were no people or logging equipment in the area, which made Co and the other members of the team suspect that illegal loggers were tipped off of their arrival.

“There was a tent inside the thick forest, presumably used by the illegal loggers,” she said.

The team of Col. Jesus Sarsagat, commander of the Philippine Army unit based in Binmaley town, helped secure and retrieve logs from the mountains before these could be hauled by illegal loggers.

Co said a military detachment was put up to prevent illegal loggers from returning there.

She said the area where illegal loggers had been operating was part of the 13,863.61-hectare forest of Mangatarem town. The old-growth tropical rainforest comprises 44.7 percent of the town’s total land area. It is Pangasinan’s largest remaining forest and is considered as an important biodiversity area by the DENR. Yolanda Sotelo, Inquirer Northern Luzon

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Environmental Issues , Illegal Logging , Pangasinan , Rainforest

  • CheapJ

    Whoever funded the road construction can easily be identified. Just wondering if the residents there were not aware while the road was being constructed or they just looked the other way around. At any rate, the residents  themselves will suffer the consequence once mother nature unleashes her wrath.

  • WeAry_Bat

    Good bye trees, hello floods for Pangasinan?

    At least they know who started it so come disaster time, well, they know who to —–.

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Gigi Reyes back to face charges
  2. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  3. In the know: Gigi Reyes
  4. SC suspends proctor in 2011 bar exams
  5. Senator Pimentel backs German think tank’s stand vs dynasties
  6. Bar proctor suspended for photographing test papers
  7. Collector Danny Garcia says Inquirer worth more than news
  8. Meteor shower to light up PH skies
  9. What Went Before: Enrile denies Gigi Reyes was ‘other woman’
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  5. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  6. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  7. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  8. Massive infra spending set
  9. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  10. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  9. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia


  • Obama, family cause a small stir at Easter service
  • Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  • Ancient enigmatic carvings in danger of disappearing
  • Tagle: Hope comes with warning on Easter
  • New plant to boost supply of clean energy
  • Sports

  • Goodbye MGM, Las Vegas for Pacquiao?
  • Rain or Shine drops Ginebra in big hole
  • Ateneo whips CSB; Davao debuts with win over FEU
  • PH pug Hipolito Banal decisions Colombian in Aiba
  • Former Pacquiao sparmate Porter keeps IBF title
  • Lifestyle

  • Transitions and resurrection in the performing arts
  • ‘Archaeology tour’ of Cebu’s heritage of faith
  • Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  • ‘Imports’ from London, and play of the year
  • Korean animation comes of age
  • Entertainment

  • Easter musings
  • Solenn in shorts
  • Unmerry mix of attention-calling moves on ‘Mini-Me’ TV tilts
  • Persistence pays off for The 1975
  • Special section in LA fest for Filipino films
  • Business

  • BDO seen keen on bidding for Cocobank
  • Bataan freeport investment pledges up 1,302%
  • Golden Week
  • Bourse to woo Cebu stock mart investors
  • Supper power
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Gigi’s home
  • Palace stonewalls on MRT inquiry
  • Couple of things too
  • There is plenty of water behind Wawa Dam
  • Triduum thoughts of a young boy
  • Global Nation

  • Search for Etihad passengers launched
  • Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  • Tim Tebow’s charity hospital in Davao seen to open in 7 months
  • OFW died of Mers-CoV in Saudi Arabia, says family
  • Aquino, Obama to tackle US pivot to Asia during state visit
  • Marketplace