Environment Secretary Regina Paz L. Lopez has vowed to intensify the campaign against illegal logging to protect the country’s watershed areas, a campaign which may be doomed to fail unless measures promoting investment in sustainable forest management is put in place, a forestry expert said.
In 1991 massive flooding and landslides brought on by a strong typhoon resulted in the deaths of nearly 8,000 people in Ormoc City, Leyte. The Ormoc tragedy, as it became known, was largely blamed on logging and deforestation. Calls for a total logging ban rang loud in the halls of Congress and Malacañang then.
The National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) said it is more partial to “responsible” logging in select areas, saying a total log ban would hurt the local furniture industry.
ENVIRONMENT Secretary Regina Paz L. Lopez on Wednesday said mining and deforestation caused the massive flooding in Agusan del Sur and other areas in the Caraga region, adding that the catastrophe had forced the evacuation of tens of thousands of residents to various evacuation centers.