MANDAUE CITY, Cebu - With the moratorium on cutting and harvesting of timber in natural and residual forests under Executive Order No. 23, a top official from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 7 (DENR-7) has made assurance that Central Visayas will have an adequate supply of lumber since over 50 percent of its lumber stock is imported.
"Central Visayas' wood requirements are sustainable as we have enough supply of timber in private plantations particularly in Negros Oriental, even as 60 to 70 percent of our lumber are sourced from other countries," said regional director Isabelo Montejo.
Montejo made the statement in light of the pressing issue on illegal logging in other regions especially in the Mindanao area.
He said most of the lumber in Central Visayas are imported from Papua New Guinea adding that Mandaue Timber Company (Matimco), which is said to be have the largest wood processing operations in the country, is dependent on wood importation.
To recall, several DENR and Philippine National Police (PNP) officials in various parts of Mindanao were suspended and/or terminated due to illegal logging which has become a priority concern of the Aquino administration.
President Benigno S. Aquino III, during his visit to Cebu last Saturday, announced that six mayors in Agusan del Sur were already issued show cause order, according to Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo.
Robredo said some 31 DENR officials and six chiefs of police were relieved for not doing their jobs.