Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje today ordered a full investigation on the continued illegal logging in Agusan del Sur, even as he thanked the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Butuan City Mayor Ferdinand Amante, Jr. for providing timely assistance in the confiscation of some 4,214 pieces of undocumented logs in the city.

“We fully appreciate the continued support of the DILG, including our local officials in Butuan City led by Mayor Amante. This is another testament to the effectiveness of engaging local government units in the national agenda of protecting and managing their natural resources within their respective political jurisdiction,” Paje said.

Paje’s commendation of DILG’s and Amante’s support stemmed from the successful apprehension of some 4,214 pieces of logs last June 4 in Butuan City. The seized logs reportedly came from the forest areas of San Luis and La Paz towns in Agusan del Sur.

Despite this, Paje ordered a full investigation on allegations that local DENR monitoring teams failed to apprehend the said logs while being rafted through the Agusan River.

At least two mobile DENR monitoring teams have been mobilized to monitor illegal logging along the 390-kilometer stretch of the river, specifically in Talacogon in Agusan del Sur and in Las Nieves in Agusan del Norte.

The apprehended logs, consisting mostly of red and white lauan and the four pumpboats, are now in the custody of the government.
The city government of Butuan is providing police protection and security to the confiscated logs.