Monday, December 13, 2004

History repeats and repeats and repeats
No sooner had the last corpse been extricated from the muck than our government started paring its earlier total log ban pronouncement. So in the next few months, after all the corpses have been consigned to the grave and the media have surceased their acrimony, we can reasonably expect the loggers--legal and illegal--to return to status quo ante. Until the next catastrophe.

It might very well be, as some public officals say, that a total log ban is suboptimal public policy, but a selective log ban (with all those exceptions) is unenforceable and notoriously open to corruption and bribery. If forests are to be saved, all trees must be protected.As Neal Cruz points out: is common practice now for logging concessionaires to cut timber illegally outside their concessions and then claim they came from their own concessions. The DENR's forest rangers cannot prove otherwise. And anyway they are so poorly paid that it is easy for the loggers to convince them that they have not done anything wrong. With a total log ban, this ploy will no longer work. A log is illegally cut wherever it comes from.

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