Illegally cut mangroves discovered in LucenaBy Delfin T. Mallari Jr.
Inquirer Southern Luzon
LUCENA CITY — Stacks of illegally cut fully grown mangroves in a one hectare coastal area were discovered in a village here Wednesday by provincial officials and environmentalist group Tanggol Kalikasan.
Efrelyn Escultura-Calabano, special project officer of TK-Southern Tagalog, said the mangroves, sewn either as lumber or for charcoal production, were found in Barangay (village) Salinas facing Tayabas Bay.
“Based from our initial assessment, more than one hectare of mangrove area was destroyed. The entire haul needs at least two dump-trucks to transport,” she said.
Quoting information provided by a concerned citizen in the area, Escultura identified the culprit behind the mangrove destruction as a certain “George” from the nearby village of Talim.
She said the environmental destruction was being investigated by the Quezon Provincial Agriculturist-Fisheries Division assisted by volunteer lawyers from TK-ST.
Mangrove forest, also known as the “rainforest of the sea,” is an important part of the marine ecosystem as the roots of the trees provide shelter for marine life while their fallen leaves become feed for fish and other marine animals.
Cutting mangrove trees is banned by Presidential Decree No. 705 or the Forestry Code of the Philippines and Republic Act No. 8550, otherwise known as the Philippine Fisheries Code.
Last June 30, the provincial government led the massive planting of more than two million mangrove propagules in a single day in different coastal villages of the province.