Latest Stories

DENR eyes drones vs illegal logging; militants believe rebels are real targets



DAVAO CITY—The Department of Environment and Natural Resources plans to use drones in the campaign against illegal logging in Southern Mindanao, particularly in hard-to-reach areas hit by Typhoon Pablo in December last year. Members of a militant group believe, however, that the real targets are communist rebels.

Joselin Marius Fragada, DENR regional director, said he has had initial talks with the SkyEye UAV Services, a company that rents out drones for monitoring and mapping services.

“It will be the first time for DENR to use it in the country. We will start with the 16 hotspot villages in Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley,” said Fragada, who declined to provide and estimate of how much the project would cost.

“All I know is they’ll be renting the drones based on the flying hours,” he said.

“What’s significant about this is that the data gathered by drones would be more accurate and reliable. Compared with people you’re going to send to the area, the data gathered by the drones could not lie,” he said.

Sheena Duazo, secretary general of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), said the use of drones was likely part of the government’s counterinsurgency plan, targeting the communist New People’s Army rather than illegal loggers.

“Illegal logging has long been there,” Duazo said. “Between illegal logging and combating the insurgents, I think they’re keen on the latter, because even local officials are involved in illegal logging.”

Fragada said that of 66 illegal logging hotspots identified last year only 16 hotspots remain in Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley because of intensified monitoring by DENR and the closure of wood-processing plants and sawmills which could not present documents showing the source of their raw materials.

Fragada defined “hotspots” as areas where illegal logging activities have been frequently monitored, either based on the number of apprehensions in the area, or the presence of illegal logging activities there.

Among the identified hotspots in Davao Oriental are San Jose in Boston town and Papag in Cateel; Sitio Pag-asa in San Ignacio in Manay; Sitio Bangol in Tubaon, Tarragona town; Barangay (village) Calapagan in Lupon; and Macambol in Mati City.

In Compostela Valley, included in the hotspots are the villages of Datu Davao and Kidawa in Laak; Rizal and Poblacion in Monkayo; Ngan in Compostela; and Napnapan and Las Arenas in Maco.

In Davao del Norte, the identified hotspots are the villages of Gupitan, Suaon and Florida in Kapalong.

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: communist rebels , Department of Environment and Natural Resources , drones , Illegal Logging , Insurgency , News , Regions

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. Santiago accuses Lacson of fronting for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  2. Name names, Lacson told
  3. Santiago: Enrile, Lacson, Reyes plotting massive psywar operation
  4. Slain officer’s ‘diagram’ rocks PNP
  5. Kris Aquino’s ex- close in security named new Air Force chief
  6. Ex-COA chief nabbed for plunder
  7. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  8. Obama: US will defend Japan vs China
  9. Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  10. HK apology: Why Estrada and not Aquino?
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  3. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  4. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  5. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  6. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  7. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  8. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  9. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  10. Lawyer: Napoles ‘will tell all’
  1. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  2. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  3. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  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. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  8. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  9. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  10. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano


  • Seabed search for missing Malaysian jet to widen
  • Lacson rejects calls to name ‘pork’ execs
  • Obama due in Seoul as North Korea nuclear test fears grow
  • Hold departure order out vs Corona, Singson
  • Malaysia to release MH370 report–PM
  • Sports

  • Michael Phelps loses to Lochte in comeback meet
  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Galedo caps ride of redemption
  • Beermen, Express dispute second semis slot today
  • Lady Agilas upset Lady Bulldogs in four sets
  • Lifestyle

  • ‘Recovered’ Banksy works on display ahead of sale
  • Marinduque: Visiting the ‘palm of the ocean’
  • First at Vatican in 60 years
  • How Jing Monis Salon gave Krissy the pixie
  • Want to be a supermodel? Work on your inner beauty, says Joey Espino
  • Entertainment

  • Paul McCartney to play at Candlestick concert
  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • Business

  • PAL hailed for ban on shark fin cargo
  • BSP to change tint of P100 bill
  • Nielsen sees car buying boom in the Philippines
  • How author of best-seller exposed ‘one percent’ economic elite
  • Bangko Sentral readies new bank lending rules
  • Technology

  • Cloud strength helps Microsoft earnings top Street
  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • Opinion

  • Corruption not invincible after all
  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • Global Nation

  • Filipinos second-shortest in Southeast Asia
  • China welcomes PH apology
  • Only 4 Etihad passengers not accounted for
  • Abandoned in Malta,15 PH seamen return
  • Senator hopes PH will also get same vow
  • Marketplace