BY ADRIAN P. NEMES III
About 334 fully grown mangrove trees were illegally cut along the banks of Sum-ag River to give way for the construction of a resort, Community Environment and Natural Resources head, Joan Nathaniel Gerangaya, confirmed yesterday.
Gerangaya stressed that cutting of full-grown mangrove trees is not permitted, and what the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Office allows is only earth balling, or the transfer of seedlings.
He said that cutting of full-grown mangroves is only allowed by the DENR if it is necessary for public purposes.
Based on the inventory conducted by forest ranger Emmanuel Magbanua, the full-grown mangrove trees that were cut reached 173.98 cubic meters in a 2,000 square-meter area.
With the result of the investigation showing that there were indeed full-grown mangroves that were illegally cut, CENRO will file charges against the developer of the resort, Gerangaya said.
He said they will file charges for violation of Republic Act 7161 and Presidential Decree 705, or the Revised Forestry Code of the Philippines.
Gerangaya added that the developer, whom he did not name, did not show up but he told them that he is willing to face the charges. A concerned citizen also sent a photo to the DAILY STAR showing the siltation in the area being developed.*