SHAVING Environmentalists shaved their heads to call for the preservation of the Mt Kanlaon and the Northern Negros Natural Parks.* ( Andy Alvarez photos)

Cops seize guns, ammo;
nab environment officer

Operatives of the Regional Intelligence Unit 6 yesterday arrested an officer of the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources of Salvador Benedicto town in Negros Occidental, allegedly for illegal possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition, as Earth Day celebration was being marked by environmentalists.

Armed with a search warrant issued by Judge Anita Guanzon-Chua, RIU 6 operatives led by SPO1 Joshua Barile swooped down on the house of MENRO Elmo Amit, 46, at Purok Mabuhay in Brgy. Pandanon, Salvador Benedicto past 1 a.m. yesterday.

Barile said the raid yielded a .45 caliber pistol with a magazine containing ammunition, a homemade shotgun, locally known as “sulpak”, assorted live ammunition for various caliber of guns, and seven empty magazines of M-16 assault rifle.moremoremore

‘State of forests alarming'

“It's in an alarming stage!”

That was how Department of Environment and Natural Resources Negros Occidental Provincial head Andres Untal described yesterday the state of the remaining forests at the Mt. Kanlaon and Northern Negros Natural Parks in the province.

Untal said these natural parks are experiencing forest and habitat degradation at a rate of at least 2,400 hectares a year, and an annual net total forest loss of 290 hectares due to unregulated extraction of forest resources, illegal cutting of trees, unregulated fuelwood collection, illegal hunting and intensive conversion of agriculture use and settlements.moremoremore

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3-year NIR transition pushed

Businessmen in Negros Oriental supporting the proposed Negros Island Region said they want a transition period first instead of government spending P40 billion to set up a regional center.

Ed Du, president of the Negros Oriental Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said during a forum Tuesday in Dumaguete City with Secretary Mar Roxas of the Department of Interior and Local Government that a transition period of perhaps three years will allow the two Negros provinces time to adjust to the new regional structure. .moremoremore