The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has identified the towns of Taytay and Brooke’s Point as “illegal logging hotspots” in Palawan.

Eriberto Saños, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) officer-in-charge, said they have arrested many illegal loggers in the two areas that is why they are in the agency’s hotspot list.

“Ibig sabihin maraming nahuhuli dyan na mga kahoy. May criteria kasi ‘yan kung gaano karaming kahoy ang nakuha sa isang lugar para masabing hotspot area siya,” Saños said.

He said they are now coordinating with the towns’ municipal governments to remove them from the hotspot list.

They can be only removed if all tree cutting activities are covered by permits, he said.

“Yan naman nawawala rin through time na wala ng nahuhuli at kung may mga permit na silang nasecure from mayor, basta lahat ng proseso na dapat pagdaan kung puputol ka ng kahoy. Mawawala naman ‘yan,” he pointed out.

In a list dated December 31, 2018, released by the DENR last week, Brooke’s Point is in the fifth spot followed by Taytay.

Saños said based on their main office’s report, illegal logging hotspots in the country have been reduced from 23 to 15.

Previously, Coron and Culion towns were also included in the hotspot list.

“Dati naman naisama din ‘yan pero sinasabi nga natin na pwedeng mawala o pwede rin na ibalik as hotspot. Pero mas maganda na wala kasi hindi maganda na maraming illegal logging activities dito sa atin,” he added.

Some of the hotspot towns are Baggao, Isabela, Lianga in Surigao del Sur and Cateel, Davao Oriental.