Just when i thought i’m beginning to like the colorful shirts of DENR Secretary Lito Atienza because of his swift action against a reported case of illegal logging in Dingalan, Aurora (read the 3-day timeline here, here and here), then this report from inquirer.net:
An information caravan in the nine villages of Dinalungan, Aurora, started to gather support on Monday for the protest against the approval by Environment Secretary Lito Atienza of a five-year logging plan by a firm in the province.
Fr. Ceferino Valenzuela, the townâ€™s parish priest, said the caravan mounted by the Concerned Citizens of Dinalungan started at 8 a.m., holding short programs in every village it passed.
The 200 participants were expected to reach the logging areas of Industries Development Corp. (IDC) in Barangays Ditawini and Abuleg in Dinalungan, Dinadiawan in Dipaculao town, and at the Aurora-Quirino boundary before dusk.
Look at the Google Earth picture of Dinalungan here:
The town is already a big landslide viewed from space. This is not caused by just the “illegal” loggers. The environmental catastrophes happening in Aurora are mostly caused by legal loggers. Sec. Atienza should take this in consideration before approving any logging permit. Because, to parapharase his own quote, â€œTo allow ANY KIND OF LOGGING to continue is like begging for a catastrophe with epic proportions to happen.â€
Lest we forget, Tonette Orejas from Inquirer added this sidenote on the report:
What went before
By Tonette Orejas
Central Luzon Desk
First Posted 00:27:00 04/30/2008
MANILA, Philippines â€“ Landslides triggered by rains from Typhoons â€œWinnieâ€ and â€œYoyongâ€ killed more than 300 people in Dingalan, Aurora in November and December 2005. Nearly 1,000 houses were destroyed.
On Dec. 30, 2005, 70 families were marooned in Barangay Esperanza in Casiguran as floodwaters reached 10 feet high. All 24 villages in the town were flooded.
Mayor Reynaldo Bitong said the floods, the worst in Casiguran after Typhoon â€œHarurotâ€™sâ€ rains in July 2003, came as the Amro, Minanga, Dibet, Bianoan and Calabgan rivers overflowed.
On July 31, 2006, the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council said 57 villages in the towns of Baler, Casiguran, Dilasag, Dinalungan, Dipaculao, Maria Aurora and San Luis were at high risk to floods and landslides on the heels of Typhoon â€œHenry.â€
I’m glad to hear that Dinalungan Mayor Tito Tubigan listens to his constituents and opposes logging in his turf. Let’s hope it’s not just lip service.
For more info about the environment in Aurora click here.