The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) in Bohol has appealed to the agency’s governing board to impose a yearlong moratorium on the collection of fees for permits to cut down coconut trees and transport coco lumber in the wake of Typhoon “Odette’s” onslaught.
According to PCA Bohol officer-in-charge Primo Gallendez, the measure is intended to provide reprieve for those affected by the storm and also to rid lands of partially and fully toppled coconut trees across the province.
Based on data from the PCA, some 1.8 million coconut trees were toppled when “Odette” pummeled the province on December 16.
Gallendez said his office issued the proposal to the governing board amid mounting requests from the public for the suspension of the fee collection.
“Ang board maoy mo approve ani mao gani gahiwat pa mi unya basin kuno within this week makagawas na tong moratorium aron mao jud nay sundon nato na pamaagi kay daghan kaayo’g ga usig ani na dugay kuno kuti-kuti gihapon,” said Gallendez.
He noted that fallen coconut trees need also to be cleared as these can attract beetles and parasitic insects which make a home out of these.
“Gi tujo pud ni aron ma-clear up ang areas kay mahimo man gud pud ng puy-anan sa mga bakukang,” he added.
Gallendez explained that individuals would still need to secure permits even if the governing board waives the fees for these.
Currently, cutting permits cost P150 per tree while transport permits cost 30 centavos per board foot.
Meanwhile, the PCA has received reports of individuals cutting down trees without permits in the aftermath of the storm.
Gallendez noted that the PCA has eased its requirement of permits but noted that law enforcement agencies such as the Philippine National Police could still strictly require the documents.
Persons cutting down trees that they do not own could also pose as a problem, he added. (A. Doydora)