Can putting a barcode on woods stop illegal logging?
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) believes so, as they launch the program in a bid to stop the illegal activity in Mindanao.
Marlo Mendoza, executive director of DENR in Caraga region, explained bar-coding would allow officials to easily track logs.
“We are adopting the barcode as a strategy to discourage the transport of illegal logs, which has been considered a perennial problem in this region,” Mendoza said.
“We are on a pilot stage but we expect the system would be fully operational next year after every system has been corrected and put in place,” he added.
The program requires environment officials to oversee the attachment of a rectangle-shaped plastic barcode, which bears information about the production of log, on a felled tree.
Nonito Tamayo, technical director for Forest Management Services (FMS) in DENR Caraga, said they will equip the community, provincial environment and natural resources officers with a tablet computer to carry out the program.
Tamayo explained the gadget can scan all registered data in the barcodes embedded on each log being transported by log traders.
He explained data in the barcode scanned should coincide with data entry in the tablet computers, which are checked through scanning at a forest monitoring point before the logging truck enters a wood processing plant.
Mendoza said any log without a barcode shall be considered illegal and the logging truck carrying them will be held outright at checkpoint.
After inspecting an actual harvest of trees in Talacogon, Agusan del Sur, Mendoza ensured the durability of scratch-proof plastic barcodes supplied by the Data World Coputer Center.
Mendoza himself nailed the first barcode on a log that will be used to make coffins, which he said was a symbol of “burying the old system of corruption” that tolerated illegal logging in the South.
“We are starting a fresh system that hopefully would protect our forest from poachers and log smugglers,” he added.
Police Chief Superintendent Reynaldo Rafal, regional director of Philippine National Police (PNP) in Caraga, was relieved for his alleged failure to curb illegal logging in the area.
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