Angara-Castillo supports selective log ban than total log ban

By Jason de Asis


DINGALAN, Aurora, January 31, 2011-In the light of total log ban issue in the country, Aurora Gov. Bellaflor Angara-Castillo urged PNoy’s administration to oust its plans to impose a total log ban nationwide and instead enforce a selective log ban in areas proven to be prone to floods and landslides.


“Aquino administration plan to implement a total log ban required an in-depth study and should be scrapped in favor of a selective logging ban which may be enforced in consultation with local officials and residents of the affected areas,” she said.


Angara-Castillo, whose province is among the areas where legitimate logging companies operate said she is always in favor of a selective logging ban in order not to affect the livelihood of people dependent on logging.


“As we know, lots of people are dependent on the utilization of forest products. I am more inclined to call on the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to strictly implement the applicable laws on logging,” the lady governor said.


Angara-Castillo reacted to the plan being floated by President Aquino to impose the total logging through an executive order following massive floods and landslides in certain provinces of the country.


The Philippine Wood Producers Association (PWPA) has argued against a total log ban and estimated that the country will lose at least Php30 billion of investments, saying that along with the loss in investments and government revenues, the closure of legitimate companies will also affect around two million Filipinos directly or indirectly employed by wood processing companies.


PWPA president Antonio Olizon said if a total logging ban is imposed, many illegal logging activities will proliferate, including in areas where legitimate operations are on-going.


Back to Angara-Castillo compared the imposition of a total logging ban to that of a garden. “When you say total log ban, it’s total prohibition of cutting of trees. The important thing is for the gardener when and where to cut trees,” she said.


“What the national government should do is to conduct an in-depth study of the terrain and topography of provinces where to impose a total log ban,” she advised, adding that Aurora is one area where there are very few areas which are prone to floods or landslides. (Jason de Asis)



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