Monday, August 8, 2016

Police seize boat hull 
lumber from Surigao

TAGBILARAN CITY, August 5 (PIA)--Until the guy who claims ownership of three hulls confiscated from Nahawan in Clarin, then authorities see the items as illegal and in violation of the Forestry Code of the Philippines. 

Police have in custody undocumented lumber over 2,000 board feet, all set for boat hulls in a boat building shop in Clarin, during a joint police and environment officials' operation July 14 in the morning. 

According to reports from the Community Environment and Natural Resources Officer-Tagbilaran, (CENRO Tagbilaran) Eusalem Quiwag bared that as early as July 1, his office has received an information report of undocumented lumber brought to a licensed boat-builder's shop in Sitio Calachuchi Nahawan Clarin.

Quiwag then immediately issued a validation survey to authorities to confirm the undocumented forest products. 

When the illegal products were confirmed, a team led by SPO4 Noel Rogelio Avenido and DENR Forester and enforcement unit Chief Walter Ramirez swooped down on the shop owned by Jovencio Espanso and centered on the hot lumber. 

In a spot report submitted by Maritime Police Senior Inspector Arnel Anino, he averred that his team along with the DENR confiscated the forest products: one hull of toog (Philippine Rosewood) measuring 6" x 28" x 45', another hull measuring 8" X 27" X 60' and yet another hull of white Lauan (shorea contorta) measuring 5" x 24" x 34' .

The aid lumber have a combined volume of 2050 board feet and as estimated value of P102,500, says CENRO Quiwag. 

Their initial investigation showed that the said forest products are for passenger and fishing boat hulls and were in the possession of Jovencio Enpanso, a licensed boat builder. 

When asked about the details of the lumber, hs accordingly told investigators these come from Surigao province in Mindanao. 

He also volunteered the information that a certain Peter Paul Alcoy, of Lawis Inabanga owned the lumber, so he could not present pertinent documents.

The owner, who was in Cebu at that time, claimed that he has the necessary papers and would present them later. 

This prompted the team to initiate confiscation proceedings while issuing a temporary receipt for the seized forest products under the DENR authority. 

In his progress report, Maritime Police chief Anino said his office now keeps the forest products for temporary custody and safekeeping while the case is under investigation. 

Although, fishing and boatbuilding have been mainstream industries in the Philippines, the decline in Philippine forests, has opened for legislators the option for strengthened forest and its products protection. 

Section 77 of the Forest Code of the Philippines bans any person form cutting, gathering, collecting, forest products without any authority, or possess timber or other forest products without the legal documents as required under existing forest laws and regulations.

Violations of this code are punishable under articles 309 and 310 of the Revised Penal Code. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

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