Manila Times, January 19, 2005

Aurora, Quezon Folk to Rebuild Homes
from Uprooted Trees
By Ronnie E. Calumpita

Residents of Aurora and Quezon that were left homeless by four consecutive storms late last year now have the materials to rebuild their lives.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) issued an order Tuesday allowing the residents to collect uprooted trees and logs that were swept away by typhoon-induced floodings.

DENR Memorandum 01-2005, however, specifies that only logs and trees that were cast adrift by the storm, and only those that measure about 30 inches in diameter and below, are allowed to be collected.

"If there is anyone who shall benefit from these recovered trees and logs, it shall be the local residents since they are the ones who are heavily affected by the typhoons," said Environment Secretary Michael Defensor.

The DENR order also allows the surviving victims of typhoons "Unding," "Violeta," "Winnie" and "Yoyong" to process smaller pieces of wood into charcoal that they can sell.

The memorandum gives special recovery permit to affected families to venture in charcoal-making in Quezon and Aurora. The permit is valid until February 12.

Defensor said the DENR is completing the retrieval operation for the inventory of uprooted trees and wayward logs to hasten the distribution to the residents who lost their houses and properties due to flash floods and landslides.

The Region IV-A technical director, Ricardo Calderon, said they have collected 7,996 pieces of uprooted trees, logs and branches with an estimated volume of 8,473.14 cubic meter in Aurora and 11,717 pieces of logs with estimated volume of 44, 620 cubic meters in Quezon.

Thousands of logs believed to be cut by illegal loggers in Aurora and Quezon were washed away by floods during the four successive storms.

The DENR has identified a total of 256 hectares of land to which most of the victims of landslides and flashfloods in Aurora, Quezon and Nueva Ecija will be relocated.

Some 53,000 families, or 265,000 people, were displaced during the onslaught of landslides and flashfloods due to storms, which badly devastated the three provinces from November 13 to December 3, 2004.The disasters claimed the lives of more than 1,000 people.

<< Back to index