Nearly 500 sacks of abandoned mangrove tanbark were recovered by the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) Enforcement Team just this March 2016 in the southern town of Bataraza, Palawan.
On March 15, the PCSD Enforcement Team recovered a total of 234 sacks of abandoned mangrove tanbark in a temporary stock area at Sitio Sayab, Brgy. Tagnato, Bataraza.
On March 21, about 236 sacks of abandoned mangrove tanbark were recovered again by the environmental authorities in a stock area at Sitio Duronggoan, Brgy. Buliluyan. The abandoned tanbark was recovered by the PCSD Enforcement Team, personnel from the Provincial Government and 412 Marine Corps Marine Battalion Landing Team-12 (412 MC MBLT-12).
Surveillance revealed these tanbark sacks are regularly shipped out to Malaysia by different groups in Southern Palawan, according to the PCSD Enforcement Team.
An investigation will be made as to responsible person/s for possible filing of criminal complaint for violation of P.D. 705, otherwise known as the Philippine Forestry Code, said the report. The recovered tanbarks were brought to Puerto Princesa for proper disposition.
Environment experts said the rampant debarking of mangroves is irremediable, and has ill-effects to nature.
In 2008, local officials in Palawan called for more teeth to prevent the illicit gathering and trading of tanbarks which was found to be one of the major causes of crocodile attacks in Bataraza.The activity had reportedly disturbed the natural habitats of the saltwater crocodiles causing them to stray near the shore or river banks where there are residents.
The tanbarks are traded for use in dyeing and tanning, they are also the source of soga browns used for Javanese batiks, while bark extracts are used to preserve nets and sails from decay, and other uses.