TACLOBAN CITY- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Eastern Visayas (DENR-8) is soliciting support and participation from the public on its fight against the illegal cutting of trees in the region. DENR-8 Regional Executive Director Leonardo Sibbaluca told reporters in an interview that community participation is crucial to its determined efforts in the fight against illegal cutting of trees.
Sibbaluca said that he ordered his men in the field to install checkpoints in strategic areas in coordination with law enforcers to check the illegal cutting of trees and the transport of the illegally cut lumber following reports from concerned individuals of timber poaching and transport of illegally cut lumber in some areas. “We are intensifying our efforts to discourage the unscrupulous individuals to engage in timber poaching and the transporting of illegally cut lumber and in the process we are protecting the standing trees in the forests,” he said.

He admitted that at present there is a high demand for lumber materials to reconstruct damaged houses by super typhoon Yolanda of last year. And with this scenario, the DENR is closely monitoring the utilization of lumber especially those that were blown down by the typhoon last year as reason by unscrupulous individuals in cutting standing trees in the forests spared by the typhoon, saying that what they cut are just felled trees, the director added. The director issued his appeal to the public by reporting to his office or to DENR-8 personnel in the field or to law enforcers any illegal cutting of trees or transporting of illegally cut lumber. “We cannot do this alone so we need community participation to protect our standing trees,” Sibbaluca said. (RESTITUTO A. CAYUBIT)