Gov't May Restore Logging Permits after Thorough Evaluation of IFMAs
MANILA, Philippines - The prospect of a restoration of a responsible logging regime runs high with a government plan to review performance of holders of Industrial Forest Management Agreements (IFMA) targeted to be completed by yearend.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is set to issue a policy sanctioning the start of an evaluation of tenurial instruments in logging. These include IFMAs, Socialized Industrial Forest Management Agreement (SIFMA), and Community Based Forest Management Agreement (CBFMA).
"It has not yet been signed. It's still a draft for signature of the (DENR) secretary. Once approved, we can start evaluation of the tenurial instruments," said a DENR official.
Forest Management Bureau (FMB) Officer-in-charge Neria A. Andin said that given policy approval, DENR-FMB may be able to complete evaluation on the operation of logging permit holders by the end of the year.
Such evaluation of logging operations is what the Philippine Wood Processors Association (PWPA) has been asking from government since Executive Order (EO) 23 which imposed a ban on logging was issued in February.
Andin said government will grant incentives to outstanding loggers upon evaluation.
"It's too premature for me to say that (logging ban will be lifted) because we still have to go through a process. I don't have an idea what will come out, but as I've said we'll support rewards, incentives for best performers, for the responsible operators," she said. …