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The three regions in Northern Luzon are eyeing the establishment of joint monitoring checkpoints at the triboundaries to heighten forest protection.
 
In the meeting of the enforcement groups of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Cagayan Valley, Ilocos and the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) held yesterday, 12 proposed convergence areas were initially identified to monitor illegal transport of natural resources coming from the adjoining region.
 
The establishment of joint checkpoints is a result of the tripartite agreement signed earlier in La Union by DENR Regional Executive Directors Crizaldy Barcelo of Region 1, Gwendolyn Bambalan of Region 2 and Ralph Pablo of CAR to unify and streamline efforts toward achieving overall conservation and protection of the environment and natural resources.
 
Director Bambalan said the joint stationary and mobile checkpoints will address the problems on the illegal transport of forest products, wildlife, and illegally extracted, removed and transported minerals/mineral by products and other natural resources.
“We have to strengthen the guard and stop the cutting at source. We also need to strictly monitor and check the destination,” the DENR Cagayan Valley chief added.
 
She said, the ENR monitoring checkpoints shall be stationed in strategic locations near the forest conservation areas, protected areas and development areas.
 
“While we are advancing our National Greening Program, it is also important that we protect the standing trees from being cut,” Director Pablo said in his message.
 
Under the draft operational guidelines, the assigned personnel at the checkpoints shall operate the monitoring station on a seven-day and 24-hour basis. They shall flag down all suspicious vehicle loaded with forest products, minerals/ores and wildlife passing through the stations for inspection through lawful means. They shall also apprehend all vehicles and load of forest products, minerals/ores and/or wildlife with no proper document/permit to support shipment.
 
To effectively implement ENR laws, the team leaders and all personnel to be assigned at the checkpoints will undergo skills enhancement training.
 
The guidelines also states that the host Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) shall solicit the support of the law enforcement agencies and local government units covering the monitoring stations.
 
During the virtual meeting facilitated by Region 2 Enforcement Chief Joel Daquioag, the concerned CENROs presented the feasibility, logistic needs and resources adjacent to the proposed monitoring checkpoints including environmental threats.#