Local execs to face stiff sanctions if they fail to stop transport of illegal logs-RobredoBy Jamie Marie Elona
MANILA, Philippines—Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo warned local chief executives Friday of “stiff sanctions” if they will fail to prevent the entry or transport of illegal logs within their areas of jurisdiction.
“It is the local chief executives’ (LCEs’) statutory duty to enforce all laws and ordinances relative to the governance of the LGU and the exercise of its corporate powers, including the presidential directive on the total log ban,” Robredo said.
If a particular local chief executive—governors, city and municipal mayors, as well as village officials—fail to abide by the total log ban, Robredo said he or she will be liable for any violation under Presidential Executive Order 23 issued in April 2011.
DILG said Section 2 of EO 23 provides for “a moratorium on the cutting and harvesting of timber in natural and residual forests of the entire country is hereby declared unless lifted after the effectivity of this Executive Order.”
The regulatory measure, he said, “magnifies the earnest desire of the government to protect our remaining forest cover areas.”
DILG said a separate directive has been issued for the Philippine National Police for the inclusion and implementation of a one-strike policy (immediate relief), of police provincial directors or chiefs of police who will be found “negligent” in preventing the entry or transport of illegal logs or timber within their assigned jurisdiction.
He said the importance of the PNP’s role in the anti-illegal logging campaign was underscored by the police organization’s inclusion in the newly-formed Anti-Illegal Logging Task Force led by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
“Any member of the PNP is required, therefore, to ensure proper implementation of the logging ban within the areas of their deployment and any consequent failure should subject the violator to the one-strike policy rule,” Robredo said.