Illegal logging in Buguias averted

Illegal logging in Buguias averted

Through the Joint Operation of DENR-CENRO-Buguias, the PNP - Camp Molintas, the PNP - Buguias and the LGU - Buguias, an illegal logging operation at Sitio Polis, Brgy. Amgaleyguey, Buguias, Benguet was averted early morning of January 13, 2017 where a more or less 3,000 bd. ft. of illegally sawn  pine lumbers and slabs were seized.

The team from CENRO Buguias headed by the CENR Officer Rabindranath P. Quilala and Forest Protection Officer Benny M. Pesnek with the team from the Benguet Provincial Public Safety Command (PPSC) based at Camp Molintas, Bangao, Buguias headed by SPO 1 Joseph Miller Fakat and PNP Buguias proceeded to the target areas on the said date to suppress the on-going illegal logging operation.

The government operatives formed two (2) groups to cover the two (2) different sites where illegal logging activities are being undertaken. The team discovered the illegally sawn lumbers and slabs in the areas abandoned by the culprits, which were initially scaled to be more or less 3,000 board feet with a market value of about P120,000.00.  There were information gathered that the illegal loggers are not from the said area but are only being hired by the property owners and claimants to convert it to vegetable farms.

The said contrabands were manually hauled from the logging sites to the identified staging areas by the government operatives, which eventually were transported to CENRO-Buguias Office in Taneg, Mankayan, Benguet through the assistance of PPSC Truck and the 4WD Dump Truck of LGU - Buguias General Services Office (GSO).

Mayor Ruben Tindaan of the Municipality of Buguias and Co-Chairman of the LGU-Buguias Municipal Anti-Illegal Logging Task Force (MAILTF) reminded all Barangay Captains of their mandate pursuant to Executive Order No 23 to actively be involved in the fight to stop illegal logging in the area. In fact, Buguias is known to be the Benguet Vegetable Capital in the North whose main industry is vegetable farming.

Meanwhile, CENR Officer Quilala is still very hopeful that the Sustainable Pine Forests Ecosystems Management Program that his office adopted last year will not be in vain. “There is a need to continually educate our people on the benefits of maintaining a healthy and balance ecology within the remaining pine forests in Northern Benguet”, Quilala stated.

Quilala reiterated that CENRO - Buguias have been campaigning for the revival of the pine resin tapping industry as a source of livelihood for the people of Benguet.  The collection of pine needles and pine forest wastes as fuel wood for biomass energy development and the revitalization of agro-forestry approach for forest conservation and development area are also part of the said program.  The challenge to convert pine forests into sustainable eco-tourism sites and the continuous strengthened forest protection activities within the jurisdiction of CENRO-Buguias are among their top priorities.|VSito, C. Buguias


The secret chamber of the sky blue Isuzu elf


Among the type of vehicles, the Truck or elf has the simplest design, wherein the back part has only its sidings and flooring.

During the first week September. the PNP personnel headed by Police Chief Inspector Jose G. Mulleda while in the performance of their duty at Callagdao Check point, Bulanao, Tabuk City checked the vehicles that pass by. When the Isuzu elf, sky blue and with galvanized body bearing plate number TGS 985 passed by and driven allegedly by a certain Duga Bucalan from Paracelis Mt. Province and his two companions, the PNP purposely checked the said elf.  They noticed that the flooring of the elf was slightly lifted with undetermined volume of sawn Narra flitches underneath.         

It was found out that the elf has a secret chamber. The chamber contains 47 pieces of Narra with a total volume of 747 board feet amounting to 55,988. The said specie is properly covered with GI flat sheet gauge 14 and welded with angle bar on its side. This also served as the flooring for the second layer.

In order to unload the said content of the elf, the police officers needed to use a crow bar to remove the cover.

The second layer was loaded with several empty fruit baskets which were made out of plastic which also look like cases of soft drinks. One plastic crate was filled with empty bottles of mineral water.

The simple design of the vehicle was really redesigned and intended to transport undocumented forest products.

The opposite sidings of the elf have built-in benches out of GI flat sheet and angle bar. Between the two benches is the space where they can pile such volume of lumber and properly covered with the said flat sheet which serves as the flooring of the second layer.

The Lumber was officially turned over to CENRO Tabuk Office. By virtue of the seizure order issued by CENR Officer Severino L. Dalutag, the administrative hearing of the case commenced in September 14, 2017.   The said vehicle is now impounded within the premises  of CENRO Tabuk.|C. Tabuk, SBBakidan

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