DENR, set to audit all integrated forest contracts
Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy Cimatu ordered Wednesday a review of all the firms that were granted an Integrated Forest Management Agreement (IFMA) to prevent any recurrence of the environmental degradation similar to flash floods and mudslides that occurred in Zamboanga Peninsula last December.
The DENR’s order came after President Duterte blamed these companies for the flash floods and mudslides that killed dozens of people in Zamboanga Del Norte at the height of Typhoon Vinta.
“We will make them (the IFMA holders) accountable if we find that there were violations in what are supposed to be their obligation to help manage the forest, and not to be the culprit behind such environmental degradation,” Cimatu was quoted in a statement.
The DENR said there are 104 IFMAs across the country.
Under the IFMA, companies are allowed to establish industrial tree plantations in the area but are prohibited from cutting residual trees unless authorized.