Bureau of Customs (BOC) Commissioner Ruffy Biazon today turned over to the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) an estimated 520,000 board feet of smuggled lumber worth over Php26 million and could produce 43,000 armed chairs which could be used in the country’s various public schools.
Biazon said the contraband lumber from Davao City were apprehended on four separate occasions during the months of March, April and June, this year by Customs operatives at the Subport of North Harbor, Manila International Container Port (MICP).
“This illegal loggers rampage to strip our forests of its life sustaining trees will never be tolerated by the BOC, we will seize all undocumented forest products that go our way,” Biazon said. “And to serve a lesson to the perpetrators of this smuggling attempt we are donating all these undocumented lumber to TESDA,” he added.
In turning over the confiscated lumber to the P-Noy Bayanihan Project under TESDA, Biazon said this undocumented lumber could help enhance the country’s education program, even as it will also discourage illegal loggers to indulge in this environmental and life threatening activity.
Present during the turn-over ceremony were TESDA Director General Sec. Emmanuel Joel Villanueva, Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Armin Luistro, PAGCOR Chairman Cristino Naguit, Jr. and Â Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Ramon Jesus Paje.