BACOLOD CITY, June 5 (PNA) — The Provincial Environment Management Office (PEMO) has intensified its campaign against illegal loggers in Negros Occidental as more violators get apprehended.
PEMO chief Lawyer Wilfred Ramon Peñalosa said the campaign has the full support of various sectors including the Philippine Army and the Philippine National Police (PNP).
The campaign, according to him, is continuously gaining grounds in the province as shown in the recent accomplishment of Negros Occidental Provincial Police Office (NOPPO).
Police arrested six illegal loggers from Victorias City on May 26 through the help of a tipster.
The suspects were identified as Jerry Olaya, 40; Albert Puasan, 19; Lee Bryan Aleniabon, 20; and Jonathan Sapalaran, 19, all from Sitio Gawahon, Brgy. 11, Victorias City.
The two others were Joemarie Padilla, 33 and Louie Padilla, 26, both from Salvacion Village, Brgy. 6, Victorias City.
NOPPO Acting Director Senior Supt. Ricardo de la Paz said the six were caught transporting two round, mahogany timber logs without permit from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
The recovered “hot” lumbers have an estimated cost of about P13,801. Also recovered were two sacks of charcoal.
Peñalosa said the proposed creation of Negros Occidental Multi-Sectoral Environmental Protection Council is up for approval in the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.
The proposed policy-making body will boost the province’s campaign to preserve its remaining forest cover through sound forestry laws.
“The proposed council, once approved, will come up with enforcement protocols, livelihood and education programs to combat illegal logging and other forest concerns,” he said.
The council will be headed by the governor and its members will come from DENR, Department of Interior and Local Government, Bacolod city government, Social Action Center, the Negros Forest and Ecological Foundation Inc. and the Balayan Foundation of the University of St. La Salle.(PNA)