By Mike Crismundo
BUTUAN CITY – The anti-illegal logging task force of the Bayugan City Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) confiscated more than 4,000 board feet of rafted illegally-cut lauan lumber/flitches floating along a river in Agusan del Sur on Tuesday, May 26.
A flash report to Agusan del Sur Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer (PENRO) Joey F. Concha, Bayugan City CENR Officer Norman A. Asugan said the agency’s anti-illegal logging task was patrolling along Purok 8 in Barangay Sta. Fe, Esperanza town when concerned villagers reported sighting rafted illegally-cut lauan lumbar and flitches floating on Labao river, a tributary of the giant Agusan river.
Immediately, the task force proceeded in the reported area and found the abandoned forest products.
“The rafted illegally-cut lauan lumber/flitches were believed to be waiting for appropriate time to tow in a designated buyer but an informant reported us in accurate time and place,” said Bayugan City Assistant CENR Officer DMO lV Forester Greg V. Bayotas spearheaded the agency’s anti-illegal logging task force.
The Bayugan City CENRO task force immediately coordinated with the Esperanza Municipal Police Station (MPS) for a joint retrieval operation of the forest products.
“We will conduct final scaling to determine the exact volume and documentation of the seized forest products,” Bayotas said.
The apprehended forest products are now under the protective custody of CENRO Esperanza Monitoring Station/Assistance Center for safekeeping under Team Leader Geovanni Go.
Meanwhile, Bislig City CENR Officer Victor B. Sabornido also reported on Wednesday they found abandoned 1,006.67 bd. ft. of assorted sizes of toog species of lumber in Barangay San Antonio, Bislig City.
Last week, along with the local government unit, Army’s 75th Infantry Battalion and Philippine National Police (PNP), the anti-illegal logging task force and Enforcement Team of CENRO Sabornido also retrieved 1,720 bd. ft. of fresh-sawn lauan lumber products during a search and retrieval operation at sitio Digso, Barangay Coleto, Bislig City.
The anti-illegal logging task force of Bunawan CENR Officer Jerome H. Albia also apprehended more than 4,745 bd. ft. of illegally-cut lauan flitches worth P118,625 during a search and retrieval operation in a remote Sitio Kosep, Barangay Bayugan 3 in Rosario, Agusan del Sur last May 15.
The operation was also backed up by the PNP personnel, army troops of the 75th Infantry Batallion (75TH IB) and the Municipal Environment Officer of Rosario town.
In a separate operation, the Bunawan CENRO enforcement team in Agusan del Sur also retrieved more than 2,298.9 bd. ft. of lauan and toog lumber in a remote village of San Isidro, Bunawan Brooks, Bunawan town last week.