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DENR probes illegal manufacture of wooden keels in Negros Oriental

DUMAGUETE –- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Negros Oriental is investigating the illegal manufacture of wooden keels for a supposed government project in Tayasan, Negros Oriental.
Viernov Grefalde, OIC Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer (PENRO) on Monday said in an interview that an administrative hearing will be conducted this coming Thursday or Friday to determine who shall be held liable for the violations.
Grefalde said personnel of the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) in Ayungon town, led by Forest Ranger Mateo Emperado, with the assistance of the Tayasan police, had seized 38 wood keels made of lauan and almaciga during massive operations in the evening of February 10, 2017.
The wooden keels were seized in the coastal barangays of Matuog, Sta. Cruz, Lutay and Poblacion, all in Tayasan town in northern Negros Oriental.
A wood keel is used as stern in the making of bancas, and the seized keels were believed to be illegally sourced, said CENRO-Ayungon chief Aniceto Aquino.
Aquino said they still do not have names of those who shall be held liable for the illegal manufacture of the wooden keels.
The wooden keels are now impounded and under the custody of the Office of the CENRO-Ayungon pending further investigation.
Grefalde also said he has received information the wooden keels are part of a livelihood program of another government agency for marginalized fishermen.
The said government agency was not named pending investigation.
But no one has appeared to claim ownership of the wood keels, said Grefalde.
Grefalde said any claimant will be charged accordingly because it is illegal to cut forest trees such as lauan and almaciga.
DENR Executive Order No. 23 bans the cutting of trees in natural forests, Grefalde said.
CENRO-Ayungon chief Aniceto Aquino said the administrative hearing will determine the alleged supplier of the wooden keels as well the verification of the alleged carpenters or makers of the same. (PNA)
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Last Modified: 2017-Aug-17 03.20.25 UTC+0800