‘Carabao logging’ exists in Zambo – CENRO

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/27 June) – There is “carabao logging,” too, in this city’s forests, an environment official revealed.

Forester Pilarito Montebon, of the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO)-East, said there are three hotspots here where illegal cutting of trees persists, referring to barangays Curuan, Sibulao and Vitali, all located on the eastern part of the city.

His office’s jurisdiction stretches from the right side of Tumaga River up to Licomo, the last barangay of this city’s east coast in the boundary with Tungawan municipality, Zamboanga Sibugay.

From the left side of Tumaga River up to Limpapa, the last barangay of this city’s west coast in the boundary with Sibuco town, Zamboanga del Norte is under the jurisdiction of CENRO-West.

Montebon disclosed that carabao logging – which refers to small-scale logging using chainsaw to cut trees and the carabao to transport the logs – exists in areas where there are still remaining residual forests and are not accessible to any type of vehicle.

He  said among the tree species that can be found in residual forest areas are Narra, Mahogany and Gmelina.

Montebon disclosed they recently apprehended six cows being used to carry the illegally cut lumber flitches.

He disclosed that the confiscation two weeks ago of some 10,000 board feet of lumber, with an estimated market value of P1 million, have come from the three barangays.

Without identifying them, Montebon revealed that the people involved are organized and armed.

Meanwhile, CENRO-West chief Ben Acana said they don’t have problem about illegal cutting of trees on the western part of this city.

This came about as the western part of this city has been classified as “tenured area, which means there are stakeholders maintaining the forest area,” according to Acana.

He said there are three tenure areas maintained by the Zamboanga Ecozone and Freeport Authority (15,000 hectares), Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) (1,470 hectares) and the Ayala Watershed (1,700 hectares). (MindaNews)