DENR stops transport of logs in Agusan River

BUTUAN CITY, Agusan del Norte, Feb. 22 (PNA) — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has stopped the transport of all types of logs through the Agusan River and its tributaries effective February 10,2014, the DENR on Saturday said.

This means that the DENR would no longer issue a transport permit for all types of logs that would use the Agusan river and its tributaries as waterways to move the forest products to the various wood processing plants along river banks in Butuan City and some parts in Agusan Del Sur.

DENR Undersecretary for operations Demetrio L. Ignacio, Jr. has issued the “restriction of log movements order” by authority of Secretary Ramon JP Paje through a memorandum sent to all DENR Regional Executive Directors in the region.

The order was immediately relayed to all provincial and city environment officials, said DENR regional executive director Nonito M. Tamayo during a conference at the DENR Regional Training Center in Barangay Ambago, Butuan City this week. Usec Ignacio cited wanton disregard of regulations imposed under Executive 23 by some people as reasons for the issuance of the restriction order by the DENR.

DENR 13 regional executive director Nonito M. Tamayo said it was also cited in the memorandum that “rafting and towing of logs in the Agusan river have contributed to the inundation and the scouring of the river banks further exacerbated during heavy rains.”

He said “ this has significantly contributed in the river siltation.” The other reason was the observation of the danger pose by rafted logs in barangays downstream when the river is heavily flooded.”

Tamayo also asked the provincial and city environment officials to conduct an immediate inventory of all on-going transport of logs while moving to their respective destinations through the river and tributaries.

“After reaching their destinations, there shall be no more logs to be allowed to travel on the waterways, including tributaries of the Agusan river,” he added.

He said that environment officials and other DENR field officials who would issue a transport permit in violation of the order would face sanction. (PNA)