Illegal loggers, fishers in E. Visayas don’t know what they’re doing is illegal -PNP
PALO, Leyte — The Philippine National Police (PNP) regional office here has intensified its fight against illegal logging and fishing to prevent people from practicing unlawful activities.
From October 5 to 8 alone, the police conducted 69 operations against illegal logging and 47 operations against illegal fishing resulting to the arrest of 92 persons.
The police seized several chainsaws, fishing boats, mesh nets, and active gear compressors.
PNP Regional Director Gilbert Cruz said in a press briefing Monday the confiscation indicates the presence of illegal activities destroying natural resources in Eastern Visayas.
The crackdown was initially done in some parts of Leyte, Biliran, and Samar provinces.
“With these confiscations, I think I need to talk to officials of the local government, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR),” Cruz said.
The coordination is expected to boost the campaign with concerned agencies lending assistance to law enforcers such as use of patrol boats.
Reports about violations of special laws prompted the police to actively take part in the fight against illegal fishing and illegal logging.
“We don’t want this to be a way of life without someone checking because some people are not aware that what they are doing is illegal. They just want to survive,” Cruz added.
The PNP regional office will also download more personnel in some areas to help in the implementation of special laws.
Eastern Visayas, according to DENR, is one of the fish exporting regions of the country. Its sea and inland waters are rich sources of salt and fresh water fish and other marine products.
The region has a total land area of 2,143,169 hectares, of which 1,118,214 hectares are established as forestland and 1,024,955 hectares are alienable and disposable lands. (PNA)