Republic of the Philippines
Congress of the Philippines
Metro Manila

Eleventh Congress

Third Regular Session

Begun and Held in Metro Manila, on Monday, the twenty-second day of July, two thousand and two.

[ Republic Act No. 9175]

AN ACT REGULATING THE OWNERSHIP, POSSESSION, SALE, IMPORTATION AND USE OF CHAINSAWS, PENALIZING VIOLATIONS THEREOF AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:

SEC. 1. Title. – This Act shall be known as the “Chainsaw Act of 2002”.

SEC. 2. Declaration of Policy. – It is the policy of the State, consistent with the Constitution, to conserve, develop and protect the forest resources under sustainable management. Toward this end, the State shall pursue an aggressive forest protection program geared towards eliminating illegal logging and other forms of forest destruction which are being facilitated with the use of chainsaws. The State shall therefore regulate the ownership, possession, sale, transfer, importation and/or use of chainsaws to prevent them from being used in illegal logging or unauthorized clearing of forests.

SEC. 3. Definition of Terms. – As used in this Act, the term:

a. “Chainsaw” shall refer to any portable power saw or similar cutting implement, rendered operative by an electric or internal combustion engine or similar means, that may be used for, but is not limited to, the felling of trees or the cutting of timber;

b. “Chainsaw dealer” shall refer to a person, natural or juridical, engaged in the manufacture, importation, distribution, purchase and/or sale of chainsaws.

c. “Department” shall refer to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources ; and

d. “Secretary” shall refer to the Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

SEC. 4. Persons Authorized to Manufacture, Sell, and Import Chainsaws. – Chaisaws shall only be sold and/or imported by manufacturers, dealers and/or private owners who are duly authorized by the Department.

SEC. 5. Persons Authorized to Possess and Use a Chainsaw. – The Department is hereby authorized to issue permits to possess and/or use a chainsaw for the felling and/or cutting of trees, timber and other forest or agro-forest products to any applicant who:

a. has a subsisting timber license agreement, production sharing agreement, or similar agreements, or a private land timber permit;

b. is an orchard and fruit tree farmer;

c. is an industrial tree farmer;
d. is a licensed wood processor and the chainsaw shall be used for the cutting of timber that has been legally sold to said applicant; or

e. shall use the chainsaw for a legal purpose.

Agencies of the government that use chainsaws in some aspects of their functions must likewise secure the necessary permit from the Department before operating the same.

SEC. 6. Registration of Chainsaws. – Within a period of three (3) months from effectivity hereof, all persons who own or are otherwise in possession of chainsaws must register the same with the Department, through any of its Community Environment and Natural Resources Office, which shall issue the corresponding registration certificate or permit if it finds such persons to be qualified hereunder.

Every permit to possess and/or use a chainsaw for legitimate purpose shall be valid for two (2) years upon issuance: Provided, that permits to possess and use chainsaw issued to non-commercial orchard and fruit tree farmers shall be valid for a period of five (5) years upon issuance. For this purpose, the Department shall be allowed to collect reasonable registration fees for the effective implementation of this Act.

SEC. 7. Penal Provisions.

1. Selling, Purchasing, Re-selling, Transferring, Distributing or Possessing a Chainsaw Without a Proper Permit. – Any person who sells, purchases, transfers the ownership, distributes, or otherwise disposes or possesses a chainsaw without first securing the necessary permit from the Department shall be punished with imprisonment of four (4) years, two (2) months and one (1 ) day to six years or a fine of not less than Fifteen thousand pesos (PhP 15,000.00) but not more than Thirty thousand pesos (PhP 30,000.00) or both at the discretion of the court, and the chainsaw/s confiscated in favor of the government.

2. Unlawful Importation or Manufacturing of Chainsaw. – Any person who imports or manufactures a chainsaw without obtaining prior authorization from the Department shall be punished by imprisonment of not less than one (1) month nor more than six (6) months and a fine of not less than One thousand pesos (PhP 1,000.00) nor more than four thousand pesos (PhP 4,000.00).

3. Tampering of Engine serial Number. – Any person who is found to have defaced or tampered with the original registered engine serial number of any chainsaw unit shall be punished by imprisonment of not less than one (1) month nor more than six (6) months and a fine of not less than one thousand pesos (PhP 1,000.00) nor more than Four thousand pesos (PhP 4,000.00).

4. Actual Unlawful Use of Chainsaw. – Any person who is found to be in possession of a chainsaw and uses the same to cut trees and timber in forest land or elsewhere except as authorized by the Department shall be penalized with imprisonment of six (6) years and one (1) day to eight (8) years or a fine of not less than Thirty thousand pesos (PhP 30,000.00) but not more than Fifty thousand pesos (PhP 50,000.00) or both at the discretion of the court without prejudice to being prosecuted for a separate offense that may have been simultaneously committed. The chainsaw unlawfully used shall be likewise confiscated in favor of the government.

If the violation under this Section is committed by or through the command or order of another person, partnership or corporation, the penalties herein provided shall likewise be imposed on such other person, or the responsible officer/s in such partnership or corporation.

If the offender is a public official or employee, in addition to the above penalties, he shall be removed from office and perpetually qualified from holding any public office.

The chainsaws confiscated under this Section shall be sold at public auction to qualified buyers and the proceeds thereof shall go to the Department.

SEC. 8. Reward. Any person who voluntarily gives information leading to the recovery or confiscation of an unregistered chainsaw and the conviction of persons charged thereof shall be entitled to a reward equivalent to twenty (20%) of the value of the chainsaw unit/s. The Department is authorized to include in its budget the amount necessary to carry out the purpose of this section.

SEC. 9. Authority of the Secretary. – To effectively implement the provisions of this Act, the Secretary shall issue the implementing rules and regulations within ninety (90) days upon approval of this Act. He shall likewise organize an office within the Department to ensure that the requirements imposed by this Act may be complied with qualified persons, within the shortest possible time, at the least possible expense.

In the Province of Palawan, the provisions of this Act shall be implemented by the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development pursuant to Republic act No. 7611 or the Strategic Environmental Plan for Palawan.

SEC. 10. Revocation of Registration and Permit. The Secretary may revoke any Certificate of Registration or permit previously issued to a person found violating the provisions of this Act, or the rules and regulations issued pursuant thereto.

SEC. 11. Joint Congressional Oversight Committee. – To monitor and oversee the implementation of this Act, including the approval of the rules and regulations issued pursuant hereto, there is hereby created a Joint Congressional Oversight Committee to be composed of the Chairpersons of the Senate Committee on Environmental and Natural Resources and the house committee on Natural Resources as Chairperson and Co-chairperson, five (5) members of each of the Senate and the House of Representatives who shall be designated by the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives as members: Provided, that the two (2) of the five (5) senators and two (2) of the five (5) House Members shall be nominated by the respective Minority Leaders of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

SEC.12. Transitory Provision. – In the interim while the Department is formulating the implementingrules and regulations to effectively carry out the provisions of this Act, the Bureau of Customs is prohibited from approving any cainsaw importation without clearance from said Department.

SEC. 13. Separability Clause.– If, for any reason, any part or provision of this Act shall be declared as unconstitutional or invalid, such parts or provisions not affected thereby shall remain in full force and effect.

SEC. 14. Repealing Clause. – All laws, executive orders, presidential decrees, letters or instruction, rules and regulations, or parts thereof which are inconsistent with any of the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed and/or amended accordingly.

SEC. 15. Effectivity. – This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its complete publication in the Official Gazette or in at least two (2) national newspaper of general circulation, whichever comes earlier.

Approved.
Signed:

JOSE DE VENECIA JR.
Speaker of the House of Representatives

FRANKLIN M. DRILON
President of the Senate

This Act, which is a consolidation of Senate Bill No. 1940 and House Bill No. 3994, was finally passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives on August 14, 2002 and September 2, 2002, respectively.

Signed:

ROBERTO P. NAZARENO
Secretary General, House of Representatives

OSCAR G. YABES
Secretary of the Senate

Approved.

Signed:

GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO
President of the Philippines