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. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  2. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  3. Massive infra spending set
  4. OFW brings MERS virus to Philippines
  5. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  6. Estrada, Gigi Reyes denied access to evidence from other respondents
  7. DOJ to NBI: Arrest Cedric Lee, 4 others
  8. Lacson’s wife loses diamond earring to thieves but recovers jewelry quickly with police arrest
  9. DOJ orders arrest of Cedric Lee
  10. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  1. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  2. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  3. Netizens cry: 6/55 Lotto was rigged
  4. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  5. ‘Wife of Jesus’ theory papyrus not fake – Harvard study
  6. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  7. Gay college instructor arrested for oral sex with student
  8. ‘King’ Yabut and I: Driver bares Makati dad ‘abuses’
  9. It was difficult having Japanese blood
  10. Palace: We can’t blame increase in population on Vitangcol
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Pork payoffs to newscasters Erwin Tulfo, Del Prado, others bared
  4. UP back on top as ‘average’ student aces bar
  5. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  6. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  7. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  8. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  9. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  10. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’


  • Firetruck rams California eatery; 15 injured
  • 9 confirmed dead after ferry sinks off South Korean coast
  • Aquino to public: Learn to sacrifice
  • 20 killed as Islamic extremists rampage in Nigeria
  • Drug firm Novartis to help Leyte firefighter
  • Sports

  • Walker leads Bobcats over Bulls in OT, 91-86
  • Man City slips further out of title contention
  • Federer would skip tennis to be with wife, newborn
  • Manny Pacquiao in PBA? If so, he’ll wear No. 17
  • PSC sets Blu Girls US training
  • Lifestyle

  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • This is not just a farm
  • Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  • Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  • Entertainment

  • American rapper cuts own penis, jumps off building
  • Jay Z to bring Made in America music fest to LA
  • Why Lucky has not bought an engagement ring for Angel
  • Derek more private with new girlfriend
  • ‘Community’ star happy with return of show’s creator
  • Business

  • Fired Yahoo exec gets $58M for 15 months of work
  • PH presses bid to keep rice import controls
  • PSEi continues to gain
  • Number of retrenched workers rose by 42% in ’13
  • PH seen to sustain rise in FDIs
  • Technology

  • DOF: Tagaytay, QC best at handling funds
  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Tech company: Change passwords or suffer ‘Heartbleed’
  • Filling the digital talent gap
  • SSS to shut down website for Holy Week
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Syria most dangerous country for journalists, PH 3rd—watchdog
  • Japan says visa-free entry still a plan
  • First Fil-Am elected to Sierra Madre, Calif. city council
  • UC Irvine cultural night to dramatize clash of values in immigrant family
  • Filipino sweets and info served at UC Berkeley Spring Fest
  • Marketplace