Robredo warns local execs anew on illegal loggingBy DJ Yap
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Interior Secretary Jesse M. Robredo has warned governors, mayors and other local officials of stiff sanctions if they fail to stop violators of the government’s total logging ban.
“It is the local chief executives’ 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 in a statement Friday.
The warning came a few days after the authorities seized 7,255 illegally cut logs worth P16 million in Butuan City while the timber was en route a wood processing company in Cagayan de Oro City.
If a local executive fails to prevent the entry or transport of illegal logs or timber within their territorial jurisdiction, he or she will stand liable for any violation of the total log ban under Presidential Executive Order No. 23 issued in April 2011, Robredo 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.” The order, however, does not specify penalties.
“Clearly, the regulatory measure magnifies the earnest desire of the government to protect our remaining forest cover areas by all those concerned LGUs. If they fail to comply or defy the presidential directive under EO 23, said LCEs will stand liable for any violation thereof,” Robredo said.
The official earlier issued a separate directive to Philippine National Police Director General Nicanor Bartolome to include illegal logging in the implementation of the organization’s one-strike policy against errant police officials.
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.