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Deforestation in the Philippines

Analysis of a Contemporary Issue

By: Danielle Liwanag

I. Significance and Scope

Being described as the act of clearing forests by cutting down trees, deforestation is an issue
that we are facing even up to this day. It is common knowledge that trees are essential in daily
activities and in daily practices; even the act of inhaling oxygen cannot be done without trees.
However, there are those who don’t value the importance of trees in our environment, and therefore
do activities that worsen the environment’s state. Deforestation is mostly caused by illegal loggers
who do indiscriminate logging, or even worse, practice kaingin (slash-and-burn). Illegal logging
has been present before, but as time passes, the effects of irresponsibly cutting down trees worsen.
II. Connections

Although deforestation has been present even in the 1980’s, both its causes and effects still
haven’t significantly changed over time. Due to this, the effects of deforestation lead to more issues
that endanger the people, animals, and even the environment. Deforestation leads to landslides or
soil erosion; those who live near mountainous regions are at a high risk because there are little to
no trees that hold the ground with their roots, which in turn causes landslides. Deforestation also
endangers animals due to loss of habitat. Another effect of deforestation are flashfloods; with lesser
trees to absorb the water from the soil, there is a higher tendency that flooding will occur. There
are more effects of deforestation, but those that were previously mentioned only show that us
humans also contribute to what seems like natural disasters in our environment.

III. Impact
It is obvious to say that deforestation is more harmful than it is beneficial. Citizens who live
near trees highly rely on trees and its byproducts. Another effect is that forests are home to many
species of animals and serve as its habitat. By remaining ignorant about the issue of deforestation,
more and more species of animals become endangered due to loss of habitat, or even worse,
become extinct. The environment is also highly threatened by deforestation. Soil erosions or
landslides happen due to lesser number of trees; flooding caused by severe rainfalls or typhoons
has worse effects because there are lesser trees to lessen the damage. Thus, it is safe to say that
action must be taken against the act of deforestation.

IV. Perspective
There are always two sides of the story, and sometimes we focus on one side more than we do
on the other. While it is widespread information that residents who live near forests are harmed by
deforestation, what the media doesn’t show to the public is the reason why there are illegal loggers.
In most cases, there are illegal loggers because the number of logs they can legally harvest is
insufficient. Therefore, this also leads to insufficient wages and the loggers will then result illegally
logging in order to produce more income. This, however, doesn’t mean logging should be legalized
at all costs, compromises and solutions shall be made in order for the two sides to prosper.

V. Action/Praxis

While there are already laws that prohibit deforestation, they are still heavily ignored, which
is the reason why there are still so many illegal loggers up to this day. These laws must be more
strictly implemented in order to lessen the cases of deforestation. We, however, should not depend
highly on what laws the government will implement. As individuals, we must be aware of what
our actions influence. If there are cases of illegal logging happening in your area, don’t be hesitant
to report it. As students, we can use our platforms for our voices to be heard in order to make a
change in the world. Sometimes, even the smallest actions lead to big differences.
VI. Evidence

Most of the sources I have gathered come from the Internet, but are from websites that are
reliable, most of which are information from the departments of the government. Secondary
sources are much more evident in the data I have gathered but I have incorporated primary sources
such as direct quotations from interviews.
VII. Reflection

It is enlightening to know more about the issue of deforestation in our country. Now that I
know more about it, I can be aware of how own my actions influence the environment. After all,
we are living in one planet, and we must do our best to take care of it.