TACLOBAN CITY, February 1, 2019— A House panel has launched an investigation into allegations of widespread illegal logging in Samar Island.
The chamber’s move stemmed from complaints lodged by Samar lawmakers following the flash floods and landslides during storm “Usman” last December.
The flooding devastated several villages in the city of Calbayaog and in the town of Lope De Vega in Northern Samar.
House Committee on Natural Resources chair and Cebu Rep. Rodrigo Abellanosa said the initial hearing was started on Jan. 29 to get into the bottom of the problem.
Reps. Edgar Sarmiento of the first district of Samar and Raul Daza of Northern Samar said that those behind the illegal logging should be prosecuted.
Local authorities earlier confiscated about 1,600 pieces of sawn and 19 pieces of boat kneel worth P2.5 million in San Isidro town.
N. Samar environment officer Elpidio Simon said the illegally-cut lumber and boat kneel were supposed to be delivered outside the province.
San Isidro Mayor Ferdinand Avila admitted having hard time going after illegal loggers.
He also asked higher authorities to arrest timber poachers and illegal wood traders. (Nestor Abrematea/ Visayas Times)