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Wood producers urge for speedy evaluation of logging firms

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Issue date: 
August 24, 2011
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MANILA, Philippines (Xinhua) -- The Philippine Wood Producers Association (PWPA) is urging the government to speed up its evaluation of logging firms so that those who comply with rules on sustainable forest management could resume operations.

Antonio C. Olizon, president of PWPA, said Wednesday members of the group are hopeful that the evaluation of logging operations could pave the way for the lifting of the moratorium on timber harvesting and processing.

"The (government) is now setting up the necessary mechanisms for the evaluation which is mandated by (Executive Order No. 23). We hope it could be done before mid-September," Olizon said in an interview with reporters.

He noted that the results of the evaluation could provide a solid basis for the government to lift or continue implementing the moratorium on logging.

Earlier, PWPA warned that the issuance of EO 23 could cause a wood shortage that will hurt construction, boat building and fishing sectors.

Patrick Durst of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said logging bans are "knee-jerk reactions" to flooding and landslides. He noted that forests cannot protect a particular area against catastrophic floods.

"We don't need to ban logging. We need to ban 'bad logging,'" he said.

In March, the academe and the forestry sector said that implementing a total logging ban is not a guarantee that illegal logging will be stopped and that flooding in certain parts of the country will be prevented.

Dr. Rex Victor O. Cruz, dean of the College of Forestry and Natural Resources at the University of the Philippines, said the flooding that were observed in areas such as Mindanao, Eastern Visayas, and Bicol were largely due to the ill effects of climate change.

"Flooding (observed in certain parts of the country) is not due to less trees but because of more frequent rainfall," he said.


Extpub | by Dr. Radut