PPSRNP staff take inventory of fallen trees. (Photo courtesy of Beth Maclang)

The management and staff of the Puerto Princesa Subterranean National Park (PPSRNP) conducted an inventory of all fallen trees in the four barangays under park jurisdiction in order to prevent illegal tree cutting and timber collection.

Apart from keeping the protected area free of unlawful activities, the park management also cleaned up the Sabang Wharf and provided relief aid to community residents who were severely affected by Typhoon Odette.

According to park superintendent Beth Maclang, the inventory began shortly after the Odette ravaged the northern rural barangays, causing significant destruction. To prevent others from taking advantage of the fallen trees, the park administration was entrusted with compiling a list of all uprooted trees, which would then be submitted to the barangay and city environmental authorities.

Community members clean up the beach at Sabang Wharf. (Photo courtesy of Beth Maclang)

“Kailangan talaga na maingat ang ating mga barangay officials, kasi may mga issues na nauubusan ng kahoy ang mga nagre-request, kasi nauuna ang mga may pera dahil nakakapagpatistis at utilize ng kahoy. Samantalang dapat kung masusunod ng barangay ang instructions ng DENR, City ENRO, at park management, sabay-sabay na [ang pagbibigay ng kahoy],” Maclang said in a phone interview on Thursday.

“Seventh day na ngayon (January 6) ang inventory ng mga fallen and uprooted trees. Hindi pa ito buong gubat, mga punongkahoy lang ito na natumba sa mga kabahayan. Super intense ang aming monitoring for the next days,” she added.

Under the City ENRO’s and the DENR-CENRO’s pronouncement made early this week, all fallen trees will be placed under the custody of barangay officials. Individuals who need timber to rebuild or repair their homes need to ask permission first from their barangay captains.

Maclang also said that aside from the inventory-taking, PPSRNP staff spent most of the Christmas and New Year Season providing relief aid to the residents in Barangays Cabayugan, New Panggangan, Tagabinet, and Marufinas. They also conducted a cleanup at the Sabang Wharf and the Underground River Beach from Monday to Thursday.

Meanwhile, the city government will also be holding a cleanup drive on Saturday, starting at Mendoza Park. Those who want to volunteer may check the City Information Office Facebook page for more details or contact the Oplan Linis office.

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is a senior reporter for Palawan News who covers politics, education, environment, tourism, and human interest stories. She loves watching Netflix, reading literary fiction, and listens to serial fiction podcasts. Her favorite color is blue.