Saturday Aug, 24 2019 09:18:33 PM

Basilan execs embark on environment protection drive

Climate Change/Environment • 16:00 PM Thu Jul 25, 2019
John M. Unson
 A tropical rainforest in the center of Basilan. (contributed photo)

COTABATO CITY  --- The Isabela City government is setting up an environment protection outfit to preserve the remaining rainforests in its barangays and help address illegal logging in nearby towns.

Isabela City is one of two cities in Basilan, whose provincial government again intensified two weeks ago its campaign against poaching of timbers in highlands in the province.

Officials told reporters Thursday there is now a draft framework for the proposed outfit but subject yet to approval by the Sangguniang Panglunsod chaired by Isabela City Vice Mayor Kifli Salliman.

The sources said the draft, now undergoing final review, shall be submitted for SP’s deliberation in August.

The document was reportedly prepared on the behest of newcomer Mayor Sitti Djalia Turabin-Hataman and Salliman, who were running mates during the May 13 elections.

The proposed creation of the environment protection office is partly meant to maximize the preservation of forested watersheds in Isabela City.

Residents of Isabela City have perennially been troubled with shortage of water supply during the summer months.

City officials said the outfit, to operate under the mayor’s ministerial control, can also complement efforts to prevent smuggling of forest products from timberlands in nearby Basilan towns into Isabela City.

Turabin-Hataman has earlier committed support to the environment-protection campaign of the office of Basilan Gov. Jim Salliman.

The governor convened early this month the members of the Basilan provincial anti-illegal logging task force and ordered during the meeting a crackdown on cutting of trees in forests in the province. 


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