BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES
EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 277
AMENDING SECTION 68 OF PRESIDENTIAL DECREE (P.D.) NO. 705, AS AMENDED, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE REVISED FORESTRY CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES, FOR THE PURPOSE OF PENALIZING POSSESSION OF TIMBER OR OTHER FOREST PRODUCTS WITHOUT THE LEGAL DOCUMENTS REQUIRED BY EXISTING FOREST LAWS, AUTHORIZING THE CONFISCATION OF ILLEGALLY CUT, GATHERED, REMOVED AND POSSESSED FOREST PRODUCTS, AND GRANTING REWARDS TO INFORMERS OF VIOLATIONS OF FORESTRY LAWS, RULES AND REGULATIONS
WHEREAS, there is an urgency to conserve the remaining forest resources of the country for the benefit and welfare of the present and future generations of Filipinos;
WHEREAS, our forest resources may be effectively conserved and protected through the vigilant enforcement and implementation of our forestry laws, rules and regulations;
WHEREAS, the implementation of our forest laws suffers from technical difficulties, due to certain inadequacies in the penal provisions of the Revised Forestry Code of the Philippines; and
WHEREAS, to overcome these difficulties, there is a need to penalize certain acts to make our forestry laws more responsive to present situations and realities;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, CORAZON C. AQUINO, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution, do hereby order:
SECTION 1. Section 68 of Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 705, as amended, is hereby amended to read as follows:
“Section 68. Cutting, Gathering and/or collecting Timber or Other Forest Products Without License. – Any person who shall cut, gather, collect, remove timber or other forest products from any forest land, or timber from alienable or disposable public land, or from private land, without any authority, or possess timber or other forest products without the legal documents as required under existing forest laws and regulations, shall be punished with the penalties imposed under Articles 309 and 310 of the Revised Penal Code: Provided, That in the case of partnerships, associations, or corporations, the officers who ordered the cutting, gathering, collection or possession shall be liable, and if such officers are aliens, they shall, in addition to the penalty, be deported without further proceedings on the part of the Commission on Immigration and Deportation.
“The Court shall further order the confiscation in favor of the government of the timber or any forest products cut, gathered, collected, removed, or possessed, as well as the machinery, equipment, implements and tools illegally used in the area where the timber or forest products are found.”
SECTION 2. Presidential Decree No. 705, as amended, is hereby further amended by adding Sections 68-A and 68-B which shall read as follows:
“Section 68-A. Administrative Authority of the Department Head or His Duly Authorized Representative to Order Confiscation. In all cases of violations of this Code or other forest laws, rules and regulations, the Department Head or his duly authorized representative, may order the confiscation of any forest products illegally cut, gathered, removed, or possessed or abandoned, and all conveyances used either by land, water or air in the commission of the offense and to dispose of the same in accordance with pertinent laws, regulations or policies on the matter.
“Section 68-B. Rewards to Informants. Any person who shall provide any information leading to the apprehension and conviction of any offender for any violation of this Code or other forest laws, rules and regulations, or confiscation of forest products shall be given a reward in the amount of twenty per centum (20%) of the proceeds of the confiscated forest products.”
SECTION 3. All laws, orders, issuances, rules and regulations or parts thereof inconsistent with this Executive Order are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.
SECTION 4. This Executive Order shall take effect after fifteen days following its publication either in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation in the Philippines.
Done in the City of Manila, this 25th day of July, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and eighty-seven.
(Sgd.) CORAZON C. AQUINO
President of the Philippines
By the President:
(Sgd.) JOKER P. ARROYO
Source: Presidential Management Staff
Office of the President of the Philippines. (1987). [Executive Order Nos. : 171 – 390]. Manila : Presidential Management Staff.