Monday, September 8, 2008

Tree hugger

The Intramuros Administration head Bambi Harper is on the hot seat for the tree-cutting fiasco in her jurisdiction. It is released in the Department of Environment and Naural Resources website that Harper "may still face a two-year jail term or a fine of P5,000 or both under Section 3 of Presidential Decree 953 even though she was reported by several newspapers on Tuesday as declaring, 'I apologize, I am sorry' for the offense."

It seems DENR and Secretary Lito Atienza has been relatively active in pursuing environmental wrongdoers. Just last June DENR has dismantled and closed down 60 mini sawmills in Agusan del Sur and Butuan city as part of its crackdown on illegal logging.

But DENR stil has a long way to go. Even Sec. Atienza himself admitted that, "the reasons for the degradation of forests are corruption and our own shortcomings." There are still many reports of illegal logging in the country, specifically in Aurora, Agusan del Norte and Isabela.

Call me an idealist - but I wonder why the Philippines cannot seem to impose a total log ban. I think the tangible economic benefits of allowing logging can be offset by the intangible benefits if a total log ban is imposed. Legal or not, the effect of massive logging is the same. Almost every year during the typhoon season, a province is devastated by flash floods and high death tolls. I only hope the best efforts of Sec. Atienza can prevent another Ormoc tragedy from happening.

Let me segueway to a related video I found. It made me laugh. But I don't know what your reaction would be. It may scandalize you, which makes you a prude. Or it may titillate you, which makes you a perv. See for yourself.

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