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Wood producers ask for extension to haul, transport timber

Wood producers have called on the Environment Department to extend deadlines to haul previously-cut timber so that processors would be able to recoup their investments. Under Executive Order 23, or the moratorium on wood harvesting, wood producers were given a three-month period to transport timber cut prior to the enforcement of the EO. The moratorium expired on May 21, three months after the February 21 reckoning date. “Since these are wood that have been cut prior to approval of EO 23, we think it is only appropriate to allow us an extension of the deadline. This will help keep the wood industry alive until the government decides to revoke the moratorium," Philippine Woods Producers Association (PWPA) deputy director Maila Vasquez said in an interview over the weekend. The moratorium on wood transport is not the only thing that is worrying wood producers lately. Last week, PWPA called on government to tighten its watch over the illegal importation of plywood from China. According to the group, smuggled plywood from China threatened local producers and consumers because the substandard product was being sold at cheaper prices. — with Bea Cupin/LBG, GMA News