MANILA, Philippines—To help address the chair shortage in schools, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) has donated 545,000 board feet of confiscated lumber, which is expected to provide armchairs for 45,000 students.
Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon said the BOC donated the lumber to the Technical Education Services and Development Authority (Tesda) for fabrication into school chairs.
“The seizures of these lumber materials have definitely affected the operations of these illegal logging syndicates. And I guarantee all those who may still be thinking of trying this type of illicit trade that the Bureau of Customs will always be here to stop and prosecute them,” Biazon said in a statement.
“The damage caused by these seized illegally cut lumber could be irreparable. Who knows? But nevertheless, we decided to put the seized lumber to better use by donating them to Tesda,” he added.
Biazon said the confiscated lumber arrived in Manila on board 68 twenty-footer container vans from Davao, Cagayan de Oro and Agusan del Norte from 2012 and 2013.
Customs officials seized the lumber shipments after they were misdeclared and did not have the required permits from the Bureau of Forest Development and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.