Friday, May 20, 2011

Aurora four logging firms permitted to haul old cut logs

Photo Courtesy: Arnel Turzar, DZJO FM-CMN Baler, Aurora
BALER, Aurora May 21, 2011-The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) regional executive director for Central Luzon Ricardo Calderon has given four logging companies operating in this province only until today to dispose inventoried logs and lumber which were cut prior to the issuance of President Aquino executive order number 23 directing a moratorium on tree-cutting in natural and residual forests nationwide.

Calderon identified the four firms permitted as the Industries Development Corporation (IDC) and sister firm RCC Timber Company Inc., CKY World Trading and Pacific Timber Co. (Pateco) only until May 21 to haul, process, transport and dispose the inventoried logs that were cut prior to the issuance  E.O. 23 as mandated in Resolution 2011-001 of the Anti-Illegal Logging Task Force.

Photo Courtesy: Arnel Turzar, DZJO FM, CMN Baler, Aurora
The IDC is considered the largest logging concessionaire in the province has an Integrated Forest Management Agreement covering 48,877 hectares in the northern towns of Dilasag and Casiguran which is to expire on December 5, 2026 and has log and lumber dealer permit which is set to expire on October 31, 2012 whose President is Mr. Michael Ong.

Prior to the issuance of EO 23, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Benjamin Mina said that the clearances were issued to the four following the conduct of an inventory and validation by field personnel, saying that the issuance of permits were granted by the DENR through a memorandum issued by Undersecretary for field operations Ernesto Adobo Jr. to give time to the logging firms to dispose of the cut logs and manufactured lumber inasmuch as these were left in their cutting area, log pond and sawmill yards.

The operations of the logging firms, along with the San Roque Sawmill and Benzon Realty Corp. were suspended last February due to EO 23. They have sealed all sawmills and ordered pulled out all heavy equipment deployed in concession areas to ensure that the companies comply with the directive.

Alfredo Collado, DENR community environment and natural resources officer for northern Aurora said that the IDC’s wood processing plant permits for sawmill and veneer, including log and lumber dealer permits are suspended pending review and evaluation of its area and operation.

DENR inventory stated that the IDC has 26,500 board feet of lumber, some 2,041.76 cubic meters of logs and 15 cubic meters of veneer in cutting areas in Sitio Dipayak, Barangay Tinib, in barangays Abuleg and Ditawini and at its log pond in Barangay Dibacong, Casiguran. Its sister firm RCC Timber Company has 82 pieces of remaining logs with a volume of 329.17 cubic meters.

CKY World Trading of Johnny Chua has 2,000 pieces of logs measured at 3,877.20 cubic meters at its sawmill compound and cutting area in barangays Dinadiawan, Dianed and Calaocan in Dipaculao town while Pateco has 12,542 pieces of lumber with a total volume of 371,047 board feet and 2,200 pieces of logs measuring 3,370.42 cubic meters while there was no report on the stockpiles of Benzon and San Roque owned by Filipino-Chinese businessman Ben Ching.

It could be remembered that five major logging concessionaires in the province have been ordered stopped in pursuant to E.O. 23 issued by President Aquino III directing a moratorium on tree-cutting in natural and residual forests nationwide. Affected were the IDC and sister company RCC Timber Company Inc., CKY Trading, San Roque Sawmill, Benzon Realty Corp., and Pacific Timber Co. (Jason de Asis)


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