With the power of a search warrant, the Enforcement Team of the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development searched, found and seized approximately 1,299 board feet of illegally cut and collected Kamagong lumber in the compound owned by a certain Manuel Pua, a Filipino-Chinese businessman in Puerto Princesa City, on September 19, 2014.
According to the report, the lumbers were found at the second floor of the building under construction inside the compound. They were to be used as wood tiles for the said building.
Pua was charged with violations of Forestry Code (Presidential Decree No. 705), for illegally collecting and possessing forest products, and of the Wildlife Act (Republic Act No. 9147), for illegally possessing threatened species. TheKamagong (Diospyros blancoi), a premium hardwood, is listed as critically endangered based on the PCSD RESOLUTION No. 10-413.
The PCSD, being a signatory for the multi-sectoral Anti-Illegal Logging Task Force (AILTF) of Palawan, led by its Chairman and Palawan Governor, Jose Chavez Alvarez, has already conducted several successful operations in apprehending illegal loggers as well as buyers and collectors in the since July of this year .
A total commercial logging ban has been imposed in the province since the inception of the Strategic Environmental Plan for Palawan (R.A. 7611) for forest conservation and protection in all areas of maximum protection. To augment the needs of the local communities as well as the timber needs for government and private sector infrastructure projects, minimal timber production from private plantations and other areas with forestry production-related tenurial instruments is allowed provided that they get the necessary permits from the concerned agencies.
The Kamagong lumbers were turned over by the Enforcement Team to the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) for custody.