May 19, 2024

Bicol Express News

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Agarwood worth Php30 million “missing” from Camarines Sur safekeeping

The big agarwood tree. Contributed Photo

Agarwood tree, worth about 30 million pesos in market value, was allegedly seized in Sagnay town sometime in November, 2020, by Provincial Capitol men in Camarines Sur, and the seized item was not turned over to the DENR.

The confiscated agarwood has a recovery market value of more than 60 kilos, worth about 30 million pesos priced at 500,000 pesos for every kilo.

Agarwood Oil Used in Perfume, Fragrance

The agarwood, or “lapnisan”, is a most sought-after wood product by the international fragrance industry owing to it’s essential oil needed for expensive perfumes.

A good quality agarwood commands an astronomical price up to Php 500,000. for every kilo, and higher, if traded in the international market.

DENR Protected Tree

The said agarwood tree was already under the protection of, and documented by the DENR when allegedly confiscated by Capitol men in Barangay Turague, Sagnay, Camarines Sur, sometime in November, 2020.

As policy, agarwood trees are already under DENR protection owing to it’s dwindling numbers in forests due to rampant cutting by poachers.

A report said the DENR-protected agarwood tree in Sagnay was illegaly felled by unidentified persons, and this was immediately reported to government environment authorities by local residents.

In response, men allegedly belonging to Oplan Sagip Kalikasan of the Camarines Sur Provincial Government’s environment task force, arrived and confiscated the felled tree, and brought it for sàfekeeping at the Capitol compound in Pili.

Safekeeping at Capitol

The confiscation was not reported at the DENR.

But, reports said the agarwood, over the past months, had been sawed off allegedly into several segments, in deceptive operation, as to make it appear it was still intact under government sàfekeeping.

Allegedly Sold at Black Market

The stolen segments allegedly were processed, and sold off in the black market.

Latest unconfirmed report said the agarwood inside the Capitol compound were already gone, and what remained were it’s chopped wood parts which have no value in the market.

Also, some parts were allegedly substituted by other wood materials as showcase for inventory purposes.
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Contributed Photo:
The big agarwood tree in Sagnay, Camarines Sur, photo taken in March, 2020.
The tree was documented by the DENR, but was illegally cut by unidentified men in November, 2020, recovered by Sagip Kalikasan and brought to the Capitol for safekeeping. Now, the original tree was reported gone.