Benguet council ponders on resin tapping ban

LA TRINIDAD, BENGUET – The provincial board members are pondering on the banning of oleoresin tapping in the province.
The discussion followed after letters dated January 25 and 29, 2018 were received from Benguet Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Julius T. Kollin regarding the Provincial Resolution No. 697 dated August 25, 1980 banning the tapping of oleo-resin in Benguet and his inquiry of the provincial council’s actions towards the resolution.
Oleoresin is a raw material obtained from plants or trees and used for the production of oil, cosmetics and varnish.
Board member Florencio Bentrez stated that the municipality of Tuba endorsed the project on oleoresin tapping considering the explanation of the personnel from Department of Environment and Natural Resources that tapping resin does not cause extreme physical damage to a tree.
Kollin, however, in a recent session contradicted DENR-CAR’s statement. He said that when pine trees are tapped, its natural growth is affected, and it will easily burn when a forest fire occurs, and citing Dr. Michael Bengwayan’s research, the tree becomes more prone to pest attacks.
“Awan nga talaga ti mayat nga ited ti oleoresin tapping iti pine trees,” he said.
He added that the investors will be the only ones who will benefit from the resin but the tree will suffer irreparable damage. He reminded the council that just like mined minerals, oleoresin is not renewable. Kollin added that oleoresin as a source of livelihood is not really good as the selling price remains low. The resin is only bought for P13-P16 per kilo.
Two resolutions favorably endorsing oleoresin tapping were also made in July and August 2015. The council collectively agreed that these do not supersede the 1980 resolution. Oleoresin tapping was considered to be an alternative to illegal logging.
Council member Apolinario Camsol said that if BPENRO wants to totally ban oleoresin tapping, recommendations must be offered so residents in those communities will not turn to resin tapping.
Board member James Guanso Jr. suggested that oleoresin tapping should be limited to the municipalities endorsed by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan and that the remaining municipalities in Benguet should ban the activity pending the acceptance of the community. LALAINE T. PAYAY, UB Intern

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