PIA News Service - Thursday, March 29, 2012

DENR tightens anti-illegal logging drive in “hot spots” of Caraga Region

By Eric Gallego

BUTUAN CITY, March 29 (PIA)
-- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has strengthened its patrol operation in known “hot spots” of illegal logging activities particularly in Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Sur in Caraga Region to discourage timber smugglers from transporting undocumented cut logs particularly during the Holy Week.

“We are strengthening our guards at the frontlines particularly in areas known to have records of illegal logging activities in the past,” Regional Executive Director Leonardo R. Sibbaluca said.

He said Maundy Thursday to Easter Sunday are ”critical times when transporters of illegal logs are considered active based upon experience in the past.”

“There is no doubt that timber poachers can sometimes elude the DENR operatives nevertheless with the support of the people they may not succeed,” Sibbaluca said.

DENR officials visited different forest monitoring checkpoints along the Maharlika Highway and the Agusan River recently and reminded their personnel to be alert and awake about illegal logging transporters in their area.

Sibbaluca also conferred with the Philippine Army Battalion Commanding Officers in Surigao del Sur and Agusan del Sur and also the Philippine National Police officials about service personnel assistance support when the situation warrants.

“We always thank the Philippine Army and the PNP for their all-out support to the campaign of the DENR against illegal logging,” he said.

Last year DENR-13 confiscated 5,250 cubic meters of illegal logs and 383,415 board feet of illegally-cut lumber and flitches. The DENR filed 23 cases with violation of PD 705 at the Environmental Court against illegal loggers and timber poachers in Caraga Region.

Since Executive Order No. 23 took effect on February 1 last year, chainsaws, bulldozers, graders and all other logging tools are now off-limits in natural and residual forests nationwide. Sibbaluca said the EO 23 issued by President Aquino declared a moratorium on the cutting and harvesting of timber in the natural and residual forests with the creation of an anti-illegal logging task force.

Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon Paje also gave instructions to all DENR regional executive directors to pull out all logging/cutting and hauling equipment from natural and residual forests after 28 days from its imposition.

Sibbaluca said he instructed all CENR officers to pull out any logging/cutting and hauling equipment from all natural and residual forests which remains enforced to ensure that no further timber harvesting shall be done following the imposition of the logging moratorium.

He said the acceptance and processing of new as well as renewal or extension of integrated operation plans, annual work plans or resources-use permits in all natural and residual forest has been also suspended in accordance with the DENR Memorandum No. 52 issued by Secretary Paje. The memorandum limits the processing of application permits to forest tenure holders within their plantation sites only. (DENR-13/RER/NLM/PIA-Caraga)

.
Transformative governance, new future for governance

By Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, March 29 (PIA)
-- “Transformative governance is the new future of governance which requires us to envision a better future for our society as a whole,” said Mayor Ferdinand Amante, Jr. of this city in his commencement address before the 570 graduates of Saint Joseph Institute of Technology (SJIT) held on Wednesday at Almont Hotel’s Inland Resort.

Mayor Amante enjoined those who were in attendance to focus first on renewing the mind to effect change to every individual, influence other people to transform themselves and eventually transform society.

“So, transformative governance means engaging in breakthrough thinking that embraces emerging trends and developments,” Amante said.

The official further said transformative governance goes beyond hope and aspirations because it is making new things happen by changing people’s assumptions, fears, cynicism, and attitude.

As an example, Amante recalled his experience when he started to assume the position right after the election in May 2010. He said the city government had a P23 million deficit in the city’s coffers or treasury and to top it off, the city had almost P100 million in mandatory fees like electricity bills, Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) premiums, and Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) taxes, as well as unpaid contracts with an outstanding loan of P1 billion… “Indeed, this is a picture of a city in financial crisis,” he added.

With the crafting and implementation of reforms in the city government, Amante said that by 2011, the city government was able to close the book of accounts with some P400 million in the bank enough to pay for projects and other payables.

Furthermore, Mayor Amante said that as far as bureaucracy is concerned, the city has now adopted the corporate spirit and each department has been required to formulate a performance and result driven annual work plan being evaluated at least every six months.

The transformative governance implemented by the Amante administration strongly supported the transparency and accountability governance of President Benigno S. Aquino III as embodied in the Philippine Development Plan for 2011-2016. (PIA-Caraga)

.
Cebuano news: Gobyernong Aquino milinya sa 8 ka mga public-private partnership projects karong 2012

MANILA, Mar. 29 (PIA)
-- Ang gobyerno milatag sa otso ka mga proyekto alang karong tuiga ubos sa public-private partnership (PPP) program sa mas paspas nga dagan, si Pangulong Benigno S. Aquino III miingon kagahapon Martes.

Atol sa Philippine Investment Forum didto sa Peninsula Manila, Makati City kagahapon Martes, ang Pangulo miingon iyang gimandoan ang Kabinete sa economic cluster nga dalion ang pag-aprubar sa mga PPP projects aron masugdan dayon ang pagtrabaho sa maong mga proyekto.

“There has to be more speed in terms of giving a thumbs up, or a thumbs down to all the various projects that are under consideration. We cannot afford to think of decades upon decades,” matud sa Pangulo atol sa maong porum.

“We are missing the opportunities that are already extant," sa iyang pagdugang.

Ang PPP thrusts sa nasod nakadawat na og daghang interest gikan sa mga mamumuhunan, sama sa mga balay eskuylahan, mga kalsada, mga tulay ug mga airports, matud sa Pangulo.

Usa ka partikular nga pokos mao ang rehabilitasyon ug pagpalambo sa Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), nga karon naghuot na mao nga dugang air traffic ang nasinati sa nasod.

“There is a need to really expand our gateways and various studies are underway to determine exactly how best to achieve that,” dugang pamahayag sa Pangulo kalabot na sa NAIA.

“There are limitations to how much you can expand NAIA especially given the density of the population in the surrounding areas. But that should not stop us from having the facilities available for the tourists.”

Aduna usab pagtuon nga gihimo karon kalabot na sa sugyot nga pagtukod og nautical highway aron makunhoran ang oras sa biyahe gikan sa Luzon paingon sa Mindanao, dugang ingon sa Pangulo nga ang nagsugyot gusto nga makunhoran ang oras sa biyahe gikan tulo ka adlaw ngato sa 15 hours lamang.

Kon kini matuman, ang Pangulo mipasabot nga ang mga produkto gikan sa south dali lang makaabot sa mga konsumante sa Metro Manila, diin, siya miingon, mamahimong usa ka dakong pag-uswag alang mga mag-uuma sa Mindanao.

Niaging tug, ang gobyerno mihatag sa greenlight alang sa P1.4-bilyon upat-ka-kilometro nga Daang Hari South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) ubos sa proyekto sa PPP.

Ang administrasyong Aquino milista ug miandam na sa paglatag alang sa mokabat 10 ka mga proyekto niaging tuig nga kantidad 127.8 bilyones ka pesos ubos sa PPP. (translated by Susil D.Ragas/PIA-Surigao del Norte)