BUTUAN CITY – The intensified campaigns against illegal logging in the Caraga region netted a total volume of 214,121.35 board feet of hot logs from January to April, with a total value of PHP8,609,253.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 13 (Caraga) Executive Director Nonito Tamayo recognized the support of the other stakeholders in the continuing fight against illegal logging activities in the region.
“We are thankful for the support given to us by the Philippine National Police, the Army, the local government units, and other agencies, as well as the communities in this drive against illegal logging,” Tamayo said in an interview on Friday.
He noted that seven municipalities in the region, mostly located in Surigao del Sur and Agusan del Sur, are still identified as illegal logging hotspots, out of the 20 in the whole country.

“We appreciate the support given to us by various sectors considering that we only have 250 forest guards and some deputized force multipliers covering around 1.2 million hectares of timberlands and forest lands in the Caraga region,” Tamayo said.

The agency also confiscated during the period 61 vehicles used in the transport of hot logs, valued at PHP19,653,000, and 26 implements and equipment, mostly chainsaws worth PHP169,000.

Most of the confiscations were recorded in Surigao del Sur with 74,717.80 board feet valued at PHP3,345,524; Agusan del Norte with 72,203.28 board feet at PHP3,387,861; and in Agusan del Sur with 49,008.52 board feet at PHP922,633.
A total of 17,218.45 board feet of hot logs were also seized during the period in Surigao del Norte, valued at PHP913,157; and in Dinagat Islands with 973.30 board feet at PHP40,078.
“At present, we have 55 checkpoints established in the different strategic areas in the region,” Tamayo said.
DENR-13 considers these checkpoints as monitoring, information, and assistance centers where residents and other stakeholders can make coordination, especially in the reporting of illegal logging activities in the area. (PNA)