Forest czar Victor Corpus said that in view of the scarcity of forest rangers, he would use “satellite imaging technology” to do the job.
“The satellite will track down illegal loggers for the police and military to apprehend,” he told reporters in Filipino.
But high technology will be used only at the start of the campaign to guard and replant the forests, said Corpus.
Corpus, a retired military general, said his request for an initial P100 million was only “to jump-start the project.” Corpus is proposing a community-based reforestation program that will allow a family to plant at least 1,000 trees a year in a 10-year cycle. The family gets 70 percent of the proceeds of the sale of the trees after 10 years.
Giving the community “proprietary rights” will give it the responsibility to “guard the trees,” Corpus said.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo had named Corpus chair of the state-owned Natural Resources Development Corp. and head of the anti-illegal-logging task force.
But Pasig Rep. Robert Jaworski said the appointment was “a big mistake.”
On Monday, Ms Arroyo endorsed to Congress the immediate passage of a measure imposing a total log ban. But on the same day, Corpus said this could not be possible and proposed that the government continue to adopt a selective log ban.
With a report from Cynthia D. Balana