The DENR Undersecretary for Enforcement and Muslim Affairs Jim Sampulna reiterated yesterday (Monday) the order of Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu to increase the capabilities DENR field personnel and strengthen cooperation with law enforcement bodies including the armed forces to ensure that there will be no more casualties among forest protectors in the line of duty
He echoed the order to the top DENR officials in Central Luzon during his recent visit to the region.
It may be recalled that Ronaldo Corpuz, a forest ranger assigned in DENR-CENRO Muñoz in Nueva Ecija and Gaudencio Arana, a longtime DENR informant were slain last year. The deaths of the forest rangers prompted the environment czar to call for the creation of an enforcement bureau within DENR.
“An enforcement bureau will serve as a shield in protecting our environment as well as our people on the field and will allow us to focus on the task of ensuring that our forestry and environment laws are followed by everyone, “ Sampulna said.
DENR record shows that more than 225,000 board feet of illegally-sourced lumber worth P11.8 million were confiscated last year in the region while 68 environmental cases were filed against 130 individuals in local courts.