MANILA –President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the creation of a Tri-Partite Convergence Committee that will formulate guidelines and other details of total log ban implementation in the country.
Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said on Wednesday that the committee will be composed of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Agriculture (DA) and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
Abella told Palace reporters through text message that the total log ban aims to protect the country’s water sheds.
The President’s directive to form the Tripartite panel was made a day after he ordered DENR Secretary Gina Lopez during last Tuesday’s joint Climate Change Commission (CCC) En Banc and Advisory Board Meeting in Malacanang to implement total log ban without exemptions.
DA Secretary Manny Pinol said the directive was made after he raised concern during the CCC meeting about the massive floods in various river basins in Mindanao due to denuded mountains.
“Hindi ba total log ban na tayo? Stop all logging operations with no exemptions,” President Duterte told Lopez as quoted by Pinol in his report posted on Facebook.
Pinol said Lopez told the President that despite the total log ban, several companies were given licenses to cut down trees under the Integrated Forest Management Agreement (IFMA) and the Community-Based Forest Management (CBFM) contracts.
“President Duterte said he was giving DENR Secretary Lopez the full authority to implement the total log ban,” Pinol said.
Pinol shared to Lopez the best practices of Finland in forest management, saying Finland “has the most well-maintained forests anywhere in the world.”
Pinol said the Tripartite body will meet on February 6.