DENR to put up anti-environmental crime task force
ZAMBOANGA CITY – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Western Mindanao said it would put up an anti-environmental crime task force in an effort to strengthen environmental laws in the Zamboanga region.
Cidur Jul Sadjiri, DENR Chief of Enforcement Division, said they have conducted preliminary consultative meeting with the different government agencies and other stakeholders about the creation of the task force. He said the main objective of the task force is also to strengthen law enforcement of the DENR in Zamboanga Peninsula.
The region is composed of Zamboanga City, Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga del Norte provinces. “From regional level down to the provincial and municipality level, the agency aims to include the community to actively participate in this activity. In the previous set-up, only the DENR staffs and personnel are authorized in the enforcement activities, but now DENR is planning to include in the course of implementation the need to have partners in the community,” Sadjiri said.
“The main purpose of the task force is to establish proper coordination among enforcement agencies. In Regional Anti-Environmental Crime Task Force they involve the Philippine National Police in Western Mindanao, the Philippine Navy, the National Bureau Investigation, the Bureau of Customs and other government law enforcement agencies to guard the area in the entire region,” he added.
For his part, Felix Miraflor Jr, the DENR regional director, also emphasized the need to tap other partners in carrying out the enforcement activity in guarding and protecting the region. “This task force is more comprehensive covering not only the anti-illegal logging task force but includes all environmental crimes like wildlife, mining, smuggling and other environmental crimes,” Miraflor said.
He said the task force which will also be implemented in other parts of the country is the brainchild of DENR Secretary Gina Lopez.
Miraflor said the DENR is currently conducting training potential members of the task force from law enforcements staffs from the regional office down to the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office and people’s organization in the region. (Haydee delos Reyes)