DENR seeks to penalize Ipilan Nickel Corporation for illegal cutting


sec cimatu copyBrooke’s Point, May 19, 2017. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources ordered the Ipilan Nickel Corporation (INC) to immediately show cause why they should not be criminally charged for violation of Section 77 of Presidential Decree No. 705 (Forestry Code of the Philippines) after reports of brushing, clearing and cutting of trees using axes and unregistered chainsaws have been confirmed despite cancellation of its Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) on December 14, 2016. All related mining activities including tree cutting are prohibited upon cancellation of the ECC.

The Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) in Palawan immediately ordered the INC to stop its illegal activities, which started in April 2017. However, the INC continued to defy said orders and even refused the DENR personnel to enter its premises that is a clear violation of the agency’s visitorial powers as mandated by PD 705.

Officials of the DENR led by Secretary Roy A. Cimatu, Undersecretary Marlo D. Mendoza, MIMAROPA Regional Director Natividad Y. Bernardino and PENRO Felizardo B. Cayatoc joined the Mining and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD), and Brooke’s Point LGU to inspect and assess the extent of the damage at the Ipilan mining site.

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“No longer just pen and paper”

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“No longer just pen and paper.” This was the sigh of relief of Arnil Junia, a forest protection officer of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) attending a training on proper gun handling, operation, and firing by the Philippine National Police on November 8, 2017.

Forester Junia shared how demoralizing it is for a field officer to face armed violators without any tool but pen and paper. He added that their lives as forest officers are often in danger every time they apprehend illegal loggers, kaingineros, and wildlife poachers.

Another forest protection officer, Mark Anthony Gabuco, shared that, more often than not, they encounter violent resistance when they apprehend violators. Gabuco emphasized the need to improve their capacity to defend themselves so they can efficiently perform their job as law enforcer.

Junia and Gabuco, both from Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) Brooke’s Point, are among the 143 forest officers undergoing training on law enforcement and forest protection in Puerto Princesa on November 6-10, 2017. Apart from gun handling and test firing, the training also includes lectures on  read more...


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