The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) donated four truckloads of seized illegal lumber to earthquake-affected municipalities in Davao del Sur.
Thursday’s delivery of “hot” lumber was received by Davao del Sur Gov. Douglas Cagas to help local government units (LGUs) rebuild the structures and buildings destroyed by the series of earthquakes that hit Mindanao late last year.
The deliveries came a month after Padada Mayor Pedro Caminero Jr. asked MinDA to help in rebuilding the town’s public market stalls and other structures.
“Immediately after he made the request, I called up DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu and asked if the agency could turn over to earthquake affected LGUs the illegal cut lumber it seized from illegal loggers. Luckily, the secretary obliged to our request,” MinDA Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said.
Out of the total donated top logs, some 18,892 board feet were donated by DENR -11 while the 20,000 board feet were given by DENR-Caraga. The logs will be given to the LGUs of Padada, Hagonoy, and Bansalan.
“These seized wood products in the past were just left to rot in the yards of DENR regional offices,” Piñol noted.
“We’re showing in this activity what governance is today and before. Now we have responsive governance. We respond to challenges and adjust our ways to serve better our people,” he added.
Piñol said the quick action by DENR reflected the style of governance of the Duterte administration, “which is innovative and resourceful.
“Next week, MinDA will also turn-over carpentry and power tools to be used in the repair and reconstruction,” he added.
DENR Undersecretary for Enforcement and Muslim Affairs Jim Sampulna said the lumber mostly came from Caraga because the area is teeming with confiscated logs.
“This is the DENR’s immediate response to the need of Davao del Sur for its relocation sites and housing programs. I hope this helps in building decent homes for the affected families as they stand up again for their lives,” Sampulna said.
Meanwhile, Cagas thanked MinDA and DENR for the assistance.
“We will forward this lumber to the mayors to assist in the rebuilding of homes of their earthquake-affected constituents,” he said.
Piñol said MinDA was also finalizing with the Office of Senator Ronald ” Bato” dela Rosa supporting documents for the request of the release of special emergency funds from the Office of the President for earthquake-stricken LGUs in Davao del Sur and Cotabato. (PNA)