Illegal Lumber Apprehended in Camarines Norte


            The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) - Provincial Environment and Natural Resources of Camarines Norte (PENRO) is strictly implementing its environment and natural resources laws within its jurisdiction.

           PENRO Camarines Norte apprehended 94 pieces of flitches with a total volume of 3,475 board feet or 8.19 cubic meters on July 26-30, 2015 at the Barangays of Matanlang and Calabasa, Labo, Camarines Norte. 

            In a report by the DENR PENRO composite team headed by Forester Nestor B. Mata, it was stated that it took five days for the team to recover the forest products due to detrimental reasons. It was reported that the team proceeded to the target area in the afternoon of July 26, 2015 and found more or less 70 large flitches and round logs near the river bank of Labo River in Matanlang. They found no persons in the area so they went back to Calabasa, Labo to get reinforcement from the army. In addition, they then contacted seven (7) Wildlife Enforcement Officers (WEOs) in Tulay na Lupa. In an account relayed by one of the team members, he said that while they were retrieving the logs and their army escorts were taking their meals (since it was already late in the afternoon), several men with bolos harassed them and so they were forced to stop and leave the area. They resumed the operation the next day, July 27, 2015 and hired eight (8) laborers from Daet but due to their frail built they only lasted one and a half day and quitted due to fatigue. Thus, they were only able to haul few flitches from Matanlang to Calabasa driving them from the Labo River. On the third day of operation, July 28, 2015, many of the flitches disappeared and were either transferred, hidden and scattered into farther areas at about 150 meters away from the riverbank. The team decided to hire two (2) chainsaw operators to be able to resize the logs into smaller dimensions and ease the handling and hauling. Furthermore, it took them two more days to do the resizing, hauling from the upland to the riverbank. From the river, the flitches were rafted and made afloat downstream via Labo River until it reached Calabasa where it can be transported by truck. A total of 94 flitches comprising of PMG species (not 54 as inadvertently reported on-the-spot report dated July 31, 2015) were recovered and temporarily stockpiled at PENRO. Since the apprehended items have no claimants, the team recommended the immediate administrative confiscation proceedings and disposal. 

         Earlier, DENR Regional Director Gilbert C. Gonzales issued a strict directive to field offices to intensify the campaign against illegal logging activities and to prosecute all those who shall violate existing forestry laws to underpin enforcement efforts under Executive Order 23 or the moratorium on the cutting and harvesting of timber in natural and residuals forests. 

Press Release: August 4, 2015





“I will strengthen the CENROs,” says Secretary Roy A. Cimatu in his message during his recent visit in Bicol. Secretary Cimatu vowed to strengthen the Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices (CENROs) being the frontline unit which delivers the services of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to the people.

According to Secretary Cimatu, he will empower the Forest Protection Officers to ensure their welfare and security. “Hindi tama na binabantayan ninyo ang mga puno, pero hindi ninyo mabantayan at maipagtanggol ang inyong mga sarili. We will train you. Pag-aaralin natin yan,” he said.

Citing his major thrusts for the environment, Secretary Cimatu emphasized clean air, clean water and solid waste management. He vowed to protect the environment by strictly and fully enforcing the laws. “We will do something for the environment, and I need all of you,” he stressed. He is optimistic that with the help of all DENR employees all environmental laws will be implemented to the fullest.

Meanwhile, Secretary Cimatu expressed his awe to Bicol Region being home to the world’s most perfect cone volcano and the world’s smallest commercial edible extant fish. He said that both Mayon Volcano and the Sinarapan or locally known as “Tabios” should be protected including all our natural resources. His orders for their protection were made explicitly to the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officers and Community Environment and Natural Resources Officers where these two (2) wonders are found.

The Environment chief likewise warned employees about zero tolerance on corruption. “Do your work with honesty and integrity. Corrupt officials and employees will be punished. You don’t have a second chance with me,” the environment chief said. 


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