Wednesday, November 14, 2012

P1.8-M ‘hot logs’ seized in NE

CABANATUAN CITY, Nueva Ecija, November 15, 2012–At least P1.8 million worth of illegal logs had been seized by government operatives in Nueva Ecija following a series of operations in the province since last month.

Maximo Dichoso, regional executive director of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Central Luzon, said the 30-day campaign, codenamed “CamPlan NE2012,” is aimed at neutralizing syndicates operating in Gen. Tinio, a known hotbed of illegal logging.

Gen. Tinio and the towns of Bongabon and Gabaldon have been classified by the DENR as illegal logging “hot spots.”

He said the campaign has so far resulted in the seizure of about 20,000 board feet of forest contraband and 8,024 board feet of premium hardwood dipterocarp valued at P500,000 and 329 sacks of charcoal.

Dichoso said aside from DENR operatives, the government composite team also consists of teams from the 702nd Brigade and 56th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army, and the Nueva Ecija Protection and Security Command of the provincial Philippine National Police.
Seized from the backyard of furniture maker Apid Maducdoc of Sitio Batog in the village of Rio Chico are contraband wood species such as yakal, bagtikan, and apitong, which according to DENR informants, were cut from the mountains of Sierra Madre in Dona Remedios Trinidad in Bulacan, and floated down the river of Sumacbao in Gen. Tinio.Maducdoc remains at large.

The DENR is eyeing charges against Maducdoc for violations of Section 68 of Presidential Decree 705 or the Forestry Reform Code of the Philippines, as amended by Executive Order no. 277 of 1987.
Dichoso said if proven guilty, Maducdoc will face a maximum prison term of 20 years under Articles 309 and 310 of the Revised Penal Code.

Dichoso said he has ordered a through investigation into the possible involvement of some local officials in illegal logging operations in Gen. Tinio.
Resolution No. 2011-006 of the Anti-Illegal Logging Task Force (AILTF) states that all forest products coming from natural and residual forests after February 28, 2012 shall be considered as property of the state.
Last year, the DENR  in Central Luzon seized 212,517 board feet of assorted forest contraband and conveyances worth at least P7 million. (Manny Galvez)

Legarda Stresses Women’s Role as Effective Agents of Change at Gathering of Women in Cavite

MANILA, November 15, 2012-Senator Loren Legarda today stressed on the role of women as silent but effective agents of change and leaders of society at the gathering of women in Cavite for the first anniversary of the Nagkakaisang Kababaihan ng General Trias.

“The role of women in our society has continuously evolved through the years. However, more women participating in decision-making, whether within the family, the community, or the nation, does not mean they are already considered equal to men. For instance, in times of disaster and economic stress, women are the primary caregivers. They also carry out much of the household workload after a disaster,” she said.

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, noted that women and girls account for 52% of the world’s population and over 100 million of which are affected by disasters annually. They have distinct nutritional needs that make coping with disasters tougher and harsher.

“Despite these, women have been silently and effectively at the frontline of disaster prevention and climate change adaptation efforts,” she stressed.

Legarda cited several environmental and disaster risk redection programs initiated by women in the Philippines, such as the women farmers in Montalban, Rizal who practice agroforestry to adapt to the prolonged wet season; a group of women fisherfolk in Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur who reforested over a hundred hectares of mangrove areas to protect their settlements from storm surges; and the women of San Francisco in Camotes Island, Cebu, who are in charge of environmental protection and disaster prevention programs in each and every purok.

“I am certain that the women of General Trias are also active participants in the local initiatives to protect the environment, such as the municipal-wide clean-up drive and the use of “eco-bags,” instead of plastic. These are important steps in making our communities safe against disaster risks,” she said.

“Women around the world and here in the Philippines are silently making their invaluable contribution to society. It is time to usher a new phase where women and girls are no longer portrayed as victims but heroes,” Legarda concluded.

Legarda Urges DRR Practices in Schools, Hails ASEAN Winner on Disaster Preparedness

MANILA, November 15, 2012-Senator Loren Legarda today urged all schools in the country to institutionalize disaster preparedness measures to ensure the safety of children in the event natural hazards occur.

Legarda, the United Nations Regional Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation for Asia-Pacific, made the statement as she lauded the Iliranan Elementary School in San Carlos, Negros Occidental for winning second place in the 2012 Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) - Japan Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Award. There were 17 other school contenders from the Philippines.

“It is very reassuring to see that learning institutions, schoolchildren and our youth are becoming directly involved in efforts to make our communities safe from disasters. Institutionalizing disaster preparedness practices in our schools is crucial in making every community disaster-resilient and also because children are most vulnerable to disasters,” she stressed.

The Iliranan Elementary School was chosen as one of the winners for their Iliranan Disaster Education Programme (IDEP) and School and Community Always Prepared and Equipped for Disaster (SCAPED). Earlier, the same school was also bestowed the ASEAN Eco-Friendly Schools Award, a recognition given to learning institutions that promote environmentally-sustainable policies.

“I encourage all schools and the whole education sector to give due focus in making our schools safe from all kinds of hazards. Schools are critical public infrastructures that serve as second home to our children and emergency refuge in times of disaster. Aside from ensuring safe physical structure, schools must have disaster preparedness and contingency plans so that students will survive and continue their schooling in the aftermath of disasters,” the Senator said.

“In making our nation disaster-resilient, we not only protect our young people, but also invest in our country’s future,” Legarda concluded.


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