P1-million worth of illegal lumber seized in Northern Samar

Published May 6, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Marie Tonette Marticio

TACLOBAN CITY – Another P1 million worth of fresh-cut dipterocarp lumber was seized by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) Northern Samar, DENR-8 Enforcement Division, and the Northern Samar Police Provincial Office (NSPPO) in an anti-timber poaching operation in San Isidro, Northern Samar.

(Northern Samar Press Corps / MANILA BULLETIN)
(Northern Samar Press Corps / MANILA BULLETIN)

The joint DENR-PNP anti-timber poaching operations was staged in Km 9, Km 13, Km 15, and Km 17 of Brgy. Happy Valley and Brgy. Balite of San Isidro on Tuesday, May 4, and resulted in the seizure of an estimated 20,000 board feet of illegally sawn lumbers and assorted sizes and dimensions of boat keels.

Two weeks ago, a total of 39,500.75 board feet with an estimated value of P1,975,037.50 was also recovered in the area.

Report from PENRO Northern Samar Angelito Villanueva stated that the operations were aided by drones, which showed footages of stockpiles of lumber, flitches, and boat keels in separate locations in Barangays Balite and Happy Valley in San Isidro Northern Samar. The violators were able to evade arrest due to the terrain in the area.

Villanueva said they will continue to investigate, and administrative and criminal cases would be filed against perpetrators for violation of Section 77 of Presidential Decree 705.

DENR 8 Regional Executive Director Tirso Parian, Jr. said DENR 8 was actively on guard against illegal activities and threats to the environment even during the general community quarantine.

“Despite some restrictions due to the general community quarantine being implemented in the province due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, our work continues especially on law enforcement. We encourage the public to coordinate and cooperate with us against illegal activities even with this COVID-19 crisis,” he urged.

DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu has earlier ordered the DENR field offices to strictly monitor illegal activities even with the enhanced community quarantine prevailing in most parts of the country.

He also assured the public that even during the COVID-19 pandemic, personnel from the regional offices would all the more continue to protect the forests from illegal activities.