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PIA News Service - Sunday, November 4, 2012

DENR bar-codes logs in Caraga to stop illegal logging

By Eric F. Gallego

BUTUAN CITY, Nov. 4 (PIA) -- The Department of environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Caraga Region is adopting the technology of bar-coding to easily track the movement of logs from the source to the wood-processing plants (WPP) to stop illegal logging activities.

A bar-code is an optical machine-readable representation of date relating to the object to which it is attached. Bar-codes represented data by varying the widths and spacing of parallel lines.

“We are adopting the bar-code as a strategy to discourage the transport of illegal logs which is a perennial problem in this region,” Assistant Secretary Marlo D. Mendoza who is the Regional Executive Director of the DENR Regional Office 13 said during a meeting with the provincial and community environment officers of the DENR-13 on Tuesday.

Mendoza went to an interior village of Batocan in Talacogon, Agusan del Sur where an actual harvesting of trees was taking place and tested the durability of the rectangle-shaped plastic bar-code supplied by the Data World Computer Center.

"We are on a pilot stage yet but we expect the system would be fully operational next year after every system has been corrected and put in place," Mendoza said. He said the bar-code attached to a felled tree was found to be durable and scratch-proofed.

As if to emphasize its significance, the first bar-code that was nailed by Mendoza on a felled tree of acacia mangium species that will be used in the manufacture of coffins.

 “This day (October 24) is meaningful because the first bar-code was place on a felled acacia mangium which wood materials will be made into coffins,” Mendoza said.

“This means that we have buried the old system of corruption connected with illegal logging and we are starting a fresh system that hopefully would protect our forest from poachers and log smugglers,” he added.

According to DENR Regional Technical Director Nonito M.Tamayo, each PENRO and CENRO officers have been equipped with ” smartphone” tablet computer, a high technology gadget that can scan all registered data in the bar-codes.

He said the bar-code embedded on each log being transported should coincide with the data entry in the computer which is finally checked through scanning at a forest monitoring point before the logging truck enters a wood-processing plant.

Mendoza said any log without a bar-code , therefore, will be considered illegal and the logging truck carrying the logs will be held outright at the checkpoint.

Mendoza said, “We have required every felled trees and cut into logs must have a bar-code which will be provided by the DENR Forest Management Sector.”

All information such as name of tree owner, location, coordinates, species , length, diameter and the volume of the forest products are contained in the bar-code and fed into the computer server.

“We can be assured through the bar-code that illegal movement of logs are minimized and discouraged since every log transported to wood processing plants are properly accounted and numbered.” Mendoza said. (NCLM/DENR-13/PIA-Caraga)