DENR exec denies reports logging continues in Caraga

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews/15 July) – A total log ban ordered by Malacanang is now in full effect in the Caraga Region, the chief of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in the region maintained in reaction to reports that logging had continued in some areas particularly in Agusan del Sur.

“The log ban ordered by President Benigno Aquino III has been actively implemented in all corners in Caraga Region. There is no letup to this and this will be enforced as long as the order stands,” DENR-Caraga Regional Executive Director Leonardo R. Sibbeluca said.

Media reports said illegal loggers are using the porous Agusan del Sur-Bukidnon border to sneak illegally-cut trees, effectively avoiding law enforcers and DENR-installed sentries in major highways.

“I have to check that report, but as far as we are concerned we have seized a lot of timber and dismantled many band saw shops,” Sibbeluca said in mixed English and Bisaya even as he assured that checkpoints are in place all over Caraga.

“Is there a place without a check point?” he asked, citing there are checkpoints from Surigao Sur to Davao Oriental, and in Trento in Agusan del Sur which borders Compostela Valley.

“If there is a place where there is no check point, I’ll check it because it could be outside Caraga already,” he added.

Sibbeluca also underscored the importance of reforestation in the region, in the wake of flooding that occurred during the first quarter of this year. (Roel N. Catoto/MindaNews)