PCA REVISES RULES TO GIVE MORE TEETH TO LAW AGAINST ILLEGAL COCONUT TREE CUTTING
The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) issued a revised set of Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act No. 8048, otherwise known as the Coconut Preservation Act of 1995. The revised IRR is embodied under Administrative Order No. 02, series of 2005, which took effect on January 23, 2006.
R.A. 8048 provides penalties for illegal cutting of coconut trees ranging from fines of P50,000.00 to P500,000.00 and imprisonment from one (1) to six (6) years.
PCA Administrator Jesus Emmanuel M. Paras bared that under the revised IRR, coconut tree was re-defined to include newly planted and unproductive ones to prevent dismissal of criminal cases due to legal technicalities on definition. Also, “illegal cutting of coconut trees” now includes forms of circumvention such as uprooting and poisoning of trees.
Administrator Paras added that the revised IRR addresses the anomalous practice of “splitting and recycling of permit to cut (PTC)”. The validity of PTCs now is limited to 15 days without extension, regardless of number of trees applied for cutting. Even vehicles caught transporting illegally cut coco lugs/lumber for the second time will now be impounded by the PCA indefinitely and will not be released without a court order.
To ensure continuous coconut production applicants for cutting are required to replace cut trees and indicate specific planting sites to ensure compliance and for monitoring purposes. In lieu of replanting, applicants may opt to pay P50.00 per tree for land converted areas. Proceeds shall accrue to the PCA’s budget for planting and replanting.
Administrator Paras assures the public that the provisions of AO No. 02, series of 2005, are well within the bounds of authority delegated to PCA by law. To have a full grasp of the IRR revisions, Paras urges parties concerned to read its publication in the January 8, 2006 issues of Manila Times and People’s Taliba or to secure copies from the Records Division of the PCA at the R&D Building, Elliptical Road, Diliman, Quezon City. Copies may be also secured from PCA Regional and Provincial Offices nationwide.
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Philippine Coconut Authority
Elliptical Road, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines
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