LINGAYEN–Gov. Amado T. Espino, Jr. has expressed his full support to the National Anti-Illegal Logging Task Force that recently visited the rainforest at the municipality of Mangatarem to investigate alleged illegal logging activities there.
“Sama-sama na nilang huliin ang mga illegal loggers na yan,” the governor said even as he noted that about two to three years ago, he had already ordered the Philippine National Police to arrest the perpetrators.
The governor said he has also ordered the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office to investigate the situation.
Espino said Mangatarem residents, concerned about the visible denuding of the forest, regularly come to the provincial government and request for seedlings to be planted in bare parts of the area.
“Lumabas na walang pondo ang Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) para sa daan na ginawa doon at hindi rin approved ng DPWH yon. Kung saan makakapal ang mga kahoy doon pa ginawa ang daan kaya itinumba ang mga puno doon,” Espino said.
Upon his assumption of office, Espino already prioritized the implementation of programs to conserve and promote the province’s natural resources like rivers, mangroves and forests.
This effort won for the province major environmental and performance-based awards during the Regional Development Council Performance Awards in February this year.
Foremost, Pangasinan is already elevated to the prestigious Hall of Fame for the Coastal Resources Management Awards and National Statistics Month Celebration Awards, thus, the province was exempted to join these categories.
Pangasinan was declared champion in five areas, namely: Best Local Government Unit (LGU) Best Practices for its massive river clean-up and dredging operations; Best Performing LGU Based on Local Governance Performance Monitoring System (LGPMS); Best LGU Poverty Reduction Program Implementer; Best LGU Millennium Development Goal (MDG) Project Implementer; and Best Project Implementer.
The province also bagged the first runner-up award in the Cleanest, Safest and Greenest LGU search. (PIO)