DENR-7 urges public to report poachers, collectors of illegal wild plants

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio - CDN Digital | October 06,2020 - 05:24 PM

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Wild plants may be trending these days, but the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Central Visayas (DENR-7) is reminding the public that some of these plants are protected species.

In a statement, DENR-7 urged the public to report individuals poaching or trading endemic and threatened wildlife plants during the community quarantine.

“Cutting, collecting, and gathering wild plants in the forest is a violation of Republic Act 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act,” said DENR 7 Executive Director Paquito D. Melicor.

DENR is responsible for the protection of wildlife from poaching and illegal commercialization, and while DENR wildlife enforcement officers are working closely with partner enforcement agencies regionwide, it also seeks the help of the public to tip or report for violators in their respective areas.

Wildlife Enforcement Officers in the four provinces in Central Visayas are already directed to intensify monitoring and surveillance activities.

Due to the economic impact brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, communities in rural areas have resorted to poaching of wild plants as alternative source of income. And since there is a high demand for these plants on social media, they have resorted to selling them to interested buyers.

The increasing demand for unattended and unregulated trade of wild flora/wild plants in the market results to the detriment of the number of endemic and threatened wildlife plants in our forests or loss of biodiversity.

“We want to remind everyone that collection and trade of threatened species are prohibited unless such acts are covered by a permit issued by the DENR. Please help us protect our wildlife by not patronizing and reporting these illegal activities,” said Meliquor.

Under Republic Act 9147, the penalty depends not only on the act committed but also on the conservation status of the wildlife.

For hunting and trading, the penalty ranges from two to four years of imprisonment and/or fine of P30,000 to P300,000 for hunting and P5,000 to P300,000 for trading of wildlife. For the mere transport of wildlife, the penalty is six months to one-year imprisonment and/or P50,000 to P100,000 fine.

To report wildlife-related crimes, DENR- Community Environment Offices are open through the following numbers: CENRO Cebu City – 254-2565; CENRO Argao – 367-7387; CENRO Tagbilaran City – (038) 412-1026; CENRO Talibon – (038) 416-0156; CENRO Dumaguete City – (035) 422-4367; CENRO Ayungon – (038) 404-0829; PENRO Siquijor (035) 377-2419.

Read: Are you a ‘plantito’ or ‘plantita’ of Cebu?

/bmjo

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TAGS: DENR, environment, plants, Republic Act 9147, trending, wild plants

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