Manila, Philippines -- At least 162,000 board feet of seized logs and lumber were donated by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to help build shelters for disaster victims and manufacture desks and armchairs in schools.
The logs and lumber were turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Department of Education (DepEd) regional offices in Central Mindanao, covering the provinces of South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, and Sarangani.
DENR Undersecretary for Field Operations Demetrio Ignacio said the donation, done in two separate occasions in Tantangan, South Cotabato and in Tacurong City in Sultan Kudarat, was pursuant to a directive by DENR Secretary Ramon Paje to turn over all confiscated logs and lumber without court cases to the DepEd and other agencies of the government in need of such.
The first donation of 111,000 board feet of lumber went to the DSWD to fill up the need for additional wood of the Reception and Study Center for Children, which is being built in Barangay Maibo in Tantangan town.
Part of the donation will be used by the agency in the construction of core shelters for residents of Carmen, North Cotabato who were affected by a recent earthquake, as well as for victims of typhoon Pablo in Compostela Valley.
Ignacio said Paje has directed a stop in the auctioning of all logs and lumber because ''we found out that some of these auctioned forest products ended up with people suspected to be engaged in illegal logging.''
DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman expressed appreciation for the donation, which she said, would be a big help in rebuilding the homes of affected communities.
The second donation of 51,000 board feet to DepEd will be used to manufacture school desks, arm chairs and other school essentials, including minor repair of public school buildings in Sultan Kudarat.