CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – Fishermen in Aurora Province have found more tree trunks believed to have originated in Papua New Guinea. Since the logs were first seen floating in front of Aurora on February 12, 632 have been recovered, reports from the INQUIRER showed.
The Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Philippine Coast Guard are sending a scouting team this week to see if there are any other logs floating around, DENR provincial official Alfred Collado said in a telephone interview on Sunday.
The logs had stickers of different lengths and widths that read “Papua New Guinea Forest Authority”, as DENR and police photos showed.
Collado made it clear that the trunks were not cut locally, as tree species such as Terminalia brassii and Pometia are native to Papua New Guinea.
The growth of oysters and algae indicates that the trunks have been swimming in the water for quite some time.
The central towns of Baler and nearby San Luis, as well as the northern town of Dilasag, have recovered more tree trunks than other towns.
Collado said the logs, piled in various locations, are now in the care of DENR teams, police and barangay councils.
He said the government of Papua New Guinea has not yet responded to the information provided by the Philippines about the logs.
The fishermen who hauled the logs ashore have expressly told DENR that they own or intend to use them unless the real owner claims so. The fishermen also asked to be paid for fuel and labor in case the owner should recapture the logs.
“You have been waiting for updates. Some are impatient, but they try to understand, ”said Collado. INQ
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