Rebuilt wooden boat confiscated in Leyte

Published June 7, 2018, 10:00 PM

by Mario Casayuran and Vanne Elaine Terrazola

By Marie Tonette Grace Marticio

Capoocan, Leyte – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) confiscated a wooden boat being refitted using yakal lumber worth P1 million in Barangay Balud here Wednesday afternoon.

The boat, allegedly owned by Milo Contapay, a town councilor of Carigara, Leyte, bore the logo of the Rebolusyonaryong Alyansang Makabansa (RAM), a party-list organization.

Reports indicated the old boat was bought from Daram, Samar, and its reconstruction began a month ago.

DENR Enforcement Division Chief Allen Cebuano said all lumberyards in Eastern Visayas have expired permits so the yakal may have been sourced illegally.

Contapay hinted that the confiscation of his boat may be politically motivated. “We all know that all lumbers here are illegal, we just buy from illegal (sources), so we should stop those who are doing illegal activities. Because if there are no available illegal lumbers, we will provide alternative materials,” he said.

The boat was placed in the custody of village officials, pending the administrative seizure proceedings and the filing of charges in court.

Contapay may be charged for violating the Revised Forestry Code. In addition, he could be brought before the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) for not securing a boat building permit.