PCA allows cutting of over 93,000 coconut trees in Eastern Visayas
PALO, Leyte — The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) has approved the cutting of 93,870 coconut trees in Eastern Visayas last year.
PCA Eastern Visayas regulation officer Benjamin Yu said on Saturday no permit is issued unless the applicant has secured certification under oath that he/she has planted the equivalent number of coconut trees applied for to be cut.
Under Republic Act No. 10593, cutting of coconut trees is prohibited unless a permit is secured at the local PCA office.
In 2019, a total of 6,812 permits to cut were issued covering 26,060 trees in Southern Leyte; 25,707 in Leyte; 16,614 in Samar; 15,399 in Northern Samar; 7,345 in Biliran; and 2,745 in Eastern Samar.
“Our effort to regulate coconut logging has been sustained. We always tell landowners and traders that cutting of productive coconut trees is unlawful unless permitted by the PCA,” Yu told Philippine News Agency (PNA).
Cutting is only allowed if the tree is 60 years old in case of tall varieties, and at least 40 years old for dwarf varieties, no longer economically productive, severely disease-infested and beyond rehabilitation, severely damaged by typhoon or lightning, or if it causes a hazard to life and property.
Logging is also permitted in areas for coconut farms converted into residential, commercial, industrial areas, and for other agricultural uses.
PCA has been closely coordinating with the Philippine Coast Guard and the Philippine National Police in guarding major highways and ports for its illegal transport.
Last year, 22 cases were filed for illegal cutting of coconut trees and 26 were apprehended for its illegal transport in Eastern Visayas, Yu said.
He added that six personalities out of the 33 involved in the illegal cutting were convicted.
Under the law, violators shall be punished by imprisonment of two to six years or a fine of PHP100,000 to PHP500,000. (PNA)