The Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) has announced its commitment to protecting the forest reserves within the Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm (IPPF) in Palawan.

This comes after illegal logging activities were discovered in the Montible Sub-Colony (MSC) of the prison reservation last March.

In a statement, BuCor assured the public that Director General Gregorio Pio P. Catapang Jr. is dedicated to protecting and preserving natural resources, particularly within the BUCOR-IPPF reservation as mandated by law. To ensure the safety and preservation of the forest reserves, BuCor will work closely with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

The IPPF, which spans over 45,000 hectares, is home to four zones: the MSC, the 14,700-hectare Central Sub-Colony, the 9,685-hectare Sta. Lucia, and the 13,000-hectare Inagawan. BuCor’s efforts to protect the forest reserves in IPPF will not only benefit the environment but also support the government’s greening program.

During the March 22 discovery of illegal logging activities in the MSC, a team composed of IPPF MSC personnel, the IPPF Quick Response Team, DENR representatives, and Puerto Princesa Bantay Gubat found charcoal mounds and illegally cut trees in the area. The DENR confiscated several pieces of a critically endangered Kamagong tree, with a total of 1.7059 cubic meters, and one unit of chainsaw.

According to BuCor, the IPPF will continue to plant thousands of different kinds of fruit-bearing trees in the area to support the National Greening Program (NGP). In February, the IPPF planted 500 cashew seedlings and bamboo propagules to serve as a flood defense to strengthen its forest conservation and greening program.

BuCor’s efforts to preserve and protect the forest reserves within IPPF are commendable, as they support the government’s initiatives to combat deforestation and mitigate the effects of climate change. The IPPF is an essential part of Palawan’s ecosystem, providing habitats for various plant and animal species and serving as a source of livelihood for local communities.

Illegal logging activities in the IPPF not only threaten the environment but also endanger the safety of inmates, prison personnel, and nearby communities. With the DENR’s support and BuCor’s commitment to protecting the forest reserves, the IPPF can continue to thrive as a vital part of Palawan’s natural landscape.

BuCor’s dedication to protecting and preserving natural resources within IPPF is a reminder of the importance of environmental stewardship. By working together with the government and local communities, we can ensure that our natural resources are conserved for future generations.

Overall, BuCor’s efforts to protect the forest reserves within the IPPF are a significant step towards environmental sustainability and a greener future. It is vital to continue supporting initiatives like these to combat deforestation, promote biodiversity, and mitigate the effects of climate change.