Photo from EPTF

The Environmental Protection Task Force (EPTF) of the city government discovered illegal activities in Barangay Tagabinet’s Sitio Makirawa and Sitio Liyang.

Elizabeth Maclang, in charge of the EPTF’s secretariat, said that the task force confirmed the illegal activities that had been reported to them before.

She claimed that four Ipil trees had been illegally cut down and about 192 posts made of the same hardwood had been found in a dragon fruit field that was allegedly owned by a certain Paul RJ Garnados.

The cut trees were reportedly being used as trellis for the dragon fruit trees.

“Na-operate ang reported na dragon fruit plantation na nakapangalan kay Paul EJ Garnados sa Sitio Liyang, Tagabinet na gamit ang ipil na kahoy as pang poste sa mga dragon fruit,” Maclang said.

Maclang also said that the farm is located in a restricted zone and the owner failed to present any tenurial instrument.

“Nasa restricted zone ang mga destruction na nakita, including mga illegally cut trees, walang any documents maipakita ang owner sa existence niya sa lugar aside sa application sa Socialized Industrialized Forest Management Agreement (SIFMA) sa Department of Environment and Natural Reaources (DENR), and may pagsusunog ng ilang areas,’’ she added.

Garnados will be charged with violations of Presidential Decree 705, or the Philippine Forestry Code, for even possessing prohibited species, as well as Republic Act 11038, or the Expanded National Integrated Protected Area System (ENIPAS), which prohibits unlawful occupation.

The EPTF also observed illegal mangrove clearing activities and illegal quarrying of corals in Sitio Makirawa but failed to apprehend the persons involved.

During the inspection, the team also noted that barangay captain Juvylyl Bonda was serving as claimant’s spokesperson.

*** Railey Joshua Maclang, a senior high school student at Puerto Princesa City National Science High School, is a media intern at Palawan News under the Humanities and Social Sciences Work Immersion Program.