Sunday, September 15, 2013
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga-Over 400 furniture shops and sash factories in Central Luzon are currently subjected to an immediate inventory of their lumber stocks, logs, and flitches to check their compliance to President Aquino’s Executive Order 23 or a logging moratorium in natural and residual forests.
“We deployed four composite teams composed of senior foresters and each led by a deputy director in the provinces of Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac, and Nueva Ecija to determine the sources of materials and the available supply of furniture makers and sash manufacturers,” DENR Regional Executive Director Maximo Dichoso disclosed in a media statement.
The teams have been ordered to confiscate all illegal lumbers found on the stockyard and to file charges against violators under Presidential Decree (PD) 705 otherwise known as the Revised Forestry Code of the Philippines.
Offenders under PD 705 shall be punished with the penalties for the crime of theft imposed under Articles 309 and 310 of the Revised Penal Code, and face imprisonment of up to 20 years for forest products worth more than P22,000.
“We are doing this to ensure that the wood industry only gets its supply of raw materials from legitimate sources, and that appropriate forestry taxes are paid to the government,” Dichoso underscored.
Through Executive Order 23, the government wishes to address the continuing problem of deforestation, which has led to floods, soil erosion, and landslides that have claimed lives, displaced families, and damaged millions of pesos worth of property.
It also aims to address the killings allegedly carried out in connection with illegal logging activities in the area.
Furthermore, the EO is a manifestation of President Aquino’s commitment to his agenda and policy on environment protection, and in accordance to his platform, the 16-point Social Contract with the Filipino People, which calls for change from a “government obsessed with exploiting the country for immediate gains to the detriment of its environment, to a government that will encourage sustainable use of resources to benefit the present and future generations.” (Carlo Lorenzo J. Datu)
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