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Date:

24 May 2008

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News

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Philippines

DILG to govs: Intensify efforts vs illegal logging

Manila, Philippines ' The Department of Interior and Local Government on Wednesday directed all governors nationwide to intensify efforts to address the problem of illegal logging in the country.

DILG Secretary Ronaldo Puno issued the directive after the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has authorized governors to arrest and file charges against illegal loggers in their respective provinces.

The DILG chief is set to sign a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with officials of the DENR and the League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP) to strengthen the working relations among government agencies regarding the drive against illegal logging.

Environment Secretary Lito Atienza is reportedly also expected to issue an administrative order once the MOA has been inked among the parties involved.

The DENR order will outline the guidelines in making arrest, the confiscation of logs, and the filing of criminal charges against the perpetrators before the court.

Members of the LPP purportedly volunteered to intensify the fight against illegal logging because of the worsening environmental problem brought about the greenhouse effect and climate change.

These erratic changes in weather conditions have spawned El Nino (drought) and La Nina (excessive rainfall) phenomena.

Some sectors however have remained skeptical on the giving powers to governors, claiming some provincial officials are the ones behind the illegal logging operations in the areas.

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Assessing illegal logging

Chatham House is assessing the scale and effectiveness of the response to illegal logging and the related trade around the world. Full details of this work, including analysis and data, will be available online soon.