DENR clarifies tree cutting suspension

BAGUIO CITY – the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Cordillera Administrative Region (DENR-CAR) clarified Monday a previous order suspending the processing of all requests and applications for tree cutting permits here.

During regular council sessions July 2, Augusto Lagon, DENR Technical Director for Forest Management cited DENR memorandum dated April 3, 2012 issued by DENR Undersecretary Analiza Rebuelte-Teh which deferred and suspended the processing of all requests and applications for tree cutting permits nationwide until further notice.

This is in answer to queries from the council on tree cutting permits being issued by the DENR Regional office in the city.

Lagon however said another memorandum dated June 22, 2012 also from Undersecretary Teh clarified the first order stating this time that the suspension of the issuance for tree cutting permits cover only naturally grown trees within public forest and timberland.

The order also states the suspension does not cover naturally grown trees within private or titled property, planted trees within public forest and private lands and those covered by exemptions provided in Executive Order 23.

EO 23 or the moratorium issued by the President prohibits the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) from issuing or renewing tree cutting permits in all natural and residual forests nationwide, except for clearing of road right of way by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), site preparation for tree plantations, silvicultural treatment and similar activities, provided that all logs derived from said cutting permits shall be turned over to the DENR for proper disposal.

It also allows the issuance of permits for tree cutting associated with cultural practices pursuant to the Indigenous Peoples Right Act (IPRA Law) subject to strict compliance with existing guidelines of the DENR.

The DENR was invited primarily to shed light on the status of permits issued to SM Development Corporation on the cutting, pruning and earthballing of trees at Luneta Hill.

Lagon clarified permits issued to SM are presently suspended as they are complying with the orders of the court '.

Lagon also said, 'the trees earthballed by the mall giant has indications of survival'. ***paul rillorta

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