BAUKO, Mountain Province – Mayor Abraham B. Akilit is pushing for better coordination among the environment department, law enforcement agencies and the local governments for the effective and efficient implementation of the government’s aggressive anti-illegal logging campaign to ensure the preservation and protection of the country’s state of the environment for the benefit of the present and future generations of Filipinos.
The local chief executive was surprised to know from the report of the environment department during the joint meeting of the Regional Development Council (RDC-CAR) and the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) that no illegal loggers were arrested in the different parts of the region during the course of the implementation of anti-illegal logging operations regionwide over the past several months.
He understands the predicament of the environment department on the lack of manpower to closely monitor the activities of illegal loggers that is why it is best for environment officials to tap the services of the members of local anti-illegal logging task forces of local governments around the region aside from putting the right people in their proper places to ensure the successful implementation of the government’s anti-illegal logging operations.
“We liberalized the use of forest products in the local level but there is a need to closely monitor the declared uses of the said products to prevent possible abuse by those who were allowed to do so,” Mayor Akilit stressed.
He claimed it is important to put value in efforts to preserve and protect the environment because it is the only sacred gif that the present generation could pass on to the future inhabitants of the planet for them to enjoy the fruits of a good environment.
According to him, the failure of the environment department to effect the arrest of illegal loggers involved in the rapid destruction of forest reservations regionwide only shows the blatant loopholes in the way concerned government agencies handle the said problems, thus, the need for them to closely work with the people on the ground because they are the ones who are familiar with what is happening in their neighbourhood.
Akilit disclosed that local governments have their own best practices in terms of implementing their own anti-illegal logging operations that is why it is best for the environment department and other law enforcement agencies for the consolidation of existing efforts to abate the proliferation of illegal logging activities in the different forest reservations around the region.
In the case of Bauko which is host to a huge portion of the Mount Data forest reservation, Mayor Akilit emphasized the importance of sustaining efforts to preserve and protect the state of the region’s watershed because it serves as the headwater of four major river systems providing abundant water supply to communities in the lowlands and that the local government has developed proven strategies to prevent the rampant illegal cutting of trees in the forested areas.
He expressed optimism there will be a significant improvement in the implementation of anti-illegal logging operations by the environment department in the coming months to help save the remaining forested areas in the region and prevent the same from rapid deterioration.