[ LETTER OF INSTRUCTION NO. 409, May 29, 1976 ]
The Secretary of Natural Resources
The Director of the Bureau of Forest
In order to prevent the recurrence of destructive floods in Luzon as well as in other parts of the country, and in accordance with the policy of the government to conserve and develop the country's forest resources and to prevent the wasting of the country's forest stands, you are hereby directed to implement the following measures immediately:
The Secretary of Natural Resources and the Director of the Bureau of Forest Development, Department of Natural Resources shall conduct a study to determine, among others, the total number of forest consessionaires in the country at present and the location of their respective forest concessions. Based on the findings of the study to be conducted as directed herein, the Secretary of Natural Resources shall cause the cancellation of the permits, licenses, or contracts of those forest consessionaires whose concessions are operated to produce profits or benefits only to the individual concessionaires and there is no manifestation that the continuance of these forest concessions is necessary for the national economy, and of those forest concessionaires who may be found to have violated the terms and conditions of their permits, licenses, or contracts with the government, including the rules and regulations of the Department of Natural Resources and the laws which are applicable to such forest concessionaires. The policy herein defined shall immediately apply to the areas situated in central and northern Luzon, including those on the west side of the Sierra Madre Mountains, the southern side of the Caraballo mountains, on the south and west side of the Cordilleras, and on both sides of the Zambales mountains, and shall thereafter be enforced throughout the country after a reasonable period of time. Moreover, the Secretary of Natural Resources and Director of the Bureau of Forest Development shall, in the implementation of the policy stated, determine which of the forest concessionaires, particularly in Luzon, have reforestation projects which are actually being carried out. The Secretary of Natural Resources shall without delay submit to the President a full report on the implementation of the foregoing instructions.
The Secretary of Natural Resources and the Director of the Bureau of Forest Development shall cause the immediate cancellation of the permits or licenses of all sawmill operators or proprietors in the Greater Manila area and in the entire Luzon whose sawmills are found to be not directly supplied by contract by legitimate logging concessionaires.
It is hereby declared to be the policy of the government to prohibit the cutting of trees in the Greater Manila area and within a radius of fifty (50) kilometers from the boundary of the said geographical unit. The Secretary of Natural Resources and the Director of the Bureau of Forest Development are directed to take appropriate measures for the proper enforcement and observance of the aforestated policy. In addition, the executive officials mentioned shall undertake, within the limit of the resources and capabilities of their department and offices, such programs, projects, and activities as may be necessary in order to preserve and maintain at least 40 per cent of the country's forest stands.
The Secretary of Natural Resources and the Director of the Bureau of Forest Development are hereby authorized to adopt and promulgate such rules and regulations as may be necessary in the implementation and enforcement of all the foregoing instructions.
Done in the City of Manila, this 29th day of May in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and seventy-six.
35 VITAL LEGAL DOCUMENTS, 92 (1976—)