WOOD PROCESSORS in Cagayan de Oro City can resume supplying raw materials to the furniture industry, particularly exporters in Cebu, as the government has lifted a ban on cutting trees in the city’s plantations.

Earlier this year, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) suspended the issuance of permits to all logging activities in the city.

The Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. then warned in a letter to Environment Secretary Jose L. Atienza, Jr. that “thousands of jobs and livelihood opportunities of direct and indirect exporters are…threatened” and that “new alternate markets recently opened by our exporters… while in the midst of this crisis may not be served.”

A furniture factory in Cebu

DENR then amended the order last April 28, allowing permits for tree harvesting in plantations.

Cebu Furniture Industries Foundation, Inc. President Eric Vincent S. Casas noted that “the impact [of the old order] would have been on pricing [since] majority of our wood [requirements] is locally sourced.”

He said, however, that supply disruption in the first quarter was hardly felt because orders were meager. Furniture export sales in the first quarter stood at $26.783 million, down 77.9% from year-ago levels, official data show.

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