DENR chief orders pullout of logging tools from natural forests

MANILA—Logging tools like bulldozers, chainsaws, and graders are now banned in natural and residual forests across the country.

Environment Secretary Ramon Paje made the order in line with Executive Order No. 23 issued by President Benigno Aquino on February 1, which declares a moratorium on timber harvesting in forests not planted for commercial use.

Aquino ordered the moratorium following a series of deadly floods in the country.

Paje instructed the regional executive directors of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to supervise the pull out of all logging equipment from natural and residual forests.

“I have given all our regional executive directors until end of February to supervise the pull out of all logging/cutting and hauling equipment from all natural and residual forests. This is to ensure that no further timber harvesting shall be done following the imposition of the logging moratorium by President Aquino,” Paje said.

In DENR memorandum No. 52, Paje also suspended the processing of new, as well as the renewal or extension of, integrated operations plans, annual work plans, or resource use permits in all natural and residual forests.

“This memorandum effectively limits the processing of application permits of forest tenure holders within their plantation sites only,” he said.

The issuance of wood processing permit for sawmills, mini-sawmills and veneer and plywood plants are also put on hold, he said.

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