News

Latest updates

CUTTING TREES ON YOUR OWN LAND

cutting trees on your own land in the philippines

Cutting Trees on Your own Land in the Philippines is not as simple as you might imagine!

So you have finally acquired your lot and you are starting to plan a build. One of the first thing most people decide to do is clear the land to see where they will put their house, but you better go into this informed. To those of you like me, who come from a Western country, the logic that most of us have grown up with is that if a tree is on your own land, you can pretty well always just go ahead and cut it down. You go gas up the chainsaw, plan your cuts and go to it.

Here in The Philippines it is not so simple and if you don’t know the laws about cutting trees, you can get yourself in a world of trouble.

First off, you cannot use, own or even be in possession of a chainsaw without having being granted a chainsaw permit. Though I knew this, I decided to do a little bit more thorough research and was absolutely shocked at what I found. When I checked this link out , http://www.lawphil.net/statutes/repacts/ra2002/ra_9175_2002.html, I must admit I kinda chuckled because to me it seems that it must be easier to get a gun in this country than it is to purchase and use a chainsaw ! If you think to yourself that, well big deal, I will just go ahead and if caught will pay the fine, you might want to think again. Take special note of the penalties which besides a fine, carry a prisoin sentence of between 6 and 8 years. If you are a foreigner, it is even worse for you because even if you survive 6 years in a filipino jail, what is waiting for you at the end of the sentence is immediate deportation since it is a criminal conviction.

If you do somehow get around the chainsaw permit , the next thing is the permit for the actual tree cutting. Here things get difficult to find out accurate answers without hours of research, but from my own experience, you need to put in an application to Department of the Environment and Natural Resources. I am not sure of the actual procedure myself beyond knowing that it just ain’t worth it for me to find out. There are many different types of trees and some are totally protected while others are not, and I assume to apply for the permit for cutting trees you will need to carefully document the species, age, location and probably a lot more. I also assume that if a foreigner is involved, at some point you would need an occular inspection form a DENR rep.

Finally, if all this is not enough to scare you away from cutting trees on your land, there is something more you need to watch out for. It is also illegal to posses or transport any lumber that is not legally obtain through permit. Again I have found this hard to research fully, but again I know from personal experience that at the barest minimum, if you get caught transporting wood, you will need to prove it was not illegally obtained.

All in all cutting trees here in the Philippines is probably something that any foreigner should stay away from. If you breach the laws in any way, the penalties are criminal, not civil or administrative which will mean jail time and deportation. Though there may be loopholes in the legalities, I for one, as a layman, just do not know where to find them and in the grand scheme of things do not feel that it is worth the risk. I have taken my trusted Attorney’s advice and done the simpliest and safest thing, and that is when I want to do any land clearing I hire a local to do it with a clear written contract that he will abide by all laws and regulations.

 

(21) Comments

      • i don’t believe you, where i live we cut trees for as long as we want. This is a private subdivision and develop by a big company, so building a home or a fence you need to cut down trees. All of us are cutting down trees here. Like I did cut one tree since it is situated to a fence I was making. aND my neighbour cut down the tree in his side aswell coz he need to build his fence too. Law doesn’t control the whole country,how else can a place be develop and be a city without cutting those trees. it’s not that serious, the whole country is cutting down trees. Why will the government focus on trees when they can’t even take action on corruption. And the chain saw, i don’t believe that many people are selling chainsaw in manila, my boss bought one there aint any issues with licence of chain saw. Maybe if you get in trouble it’s because your foreign and they want money from you.

        Reply
        • If, you do not believe, me, just do some more research. It has nothing to do with being a foreigner or a Filipino. The laws are not applicable only to foreigners. Being in the development business here, I assure you that we follow the laws to the letter and that means obtaining the necessary permits for tree cutting as outlined by statutes of the Philippines. I certainly do agree with you though that spending more time and money on corruption would be helpful to us all.

          Reply
  1. g vecino

    on   said 

    Hello, is it okay to cut a mango tree in your backyard whose roots are breaking the foundation of your house?

    Reply
  2. Edsel

    on   said 

    Can the regulatory will go after me if I cut a big tree that is planted in a neighbor’s private lot that pose a threat to fall in my house when anbig typhoon comes and already damaging the sewer system underneath it? What is my penalty if yes?

    Reply
    • gord

      on   said 

      Yes they probably can. You need to get a permit, but if the tree is causing a potential danger, then that gives a good reason to be granted the permit.

      Reply
  3. Arabel densing

    on   said 

    I have tree in my lot,and it happened that strong wind cut off one branches and hit the roof of the comfort room of my nieghbor what is my responsibility with thier little damage done.

    Reply
    • gord

      on   said 

      I would assume that you would be responsible for any damage if the branch was from a tree on your property. If a tree is a potential danger, then this will give you a valid reason to apply for a permit to cut or trim

      Reply
  4. Is it possible to have one of the two bankal trees and one of the mahogany trees to be shorten to protect the subdivision water tank which have cause cracks due to the smashing of the upper part of the tree to the water tank during heavy downpour with strong winds or even strong winds only during bad weatger and especially during typhoons and also the other bankal tree with many branches a threat to electric wires will accidentally cut as the bankal branches are prone to break and will fall on the wirings and might cause to property damage and threat to human lives passing the area. Thank you for your reply.

    Reply
  5. badong

    on   said 

    My neighbor has been complaining about our tree yet the tree that she was complaining about is located far from her house. does she have the right to have it cut down?

    Reply
  6. Kevin Sadaya

    on   said 

    It involves money also I think.Here in our place a private lot planned to be develop, almost 30 trees are being cut downed. Some trees ages 100,50 & 30 yrs old. are downed. How much money did the DENR get?

    Reply
  7. Marionne Josephus E. Mariano

    on   said 

    hi good morning

    Is it possible that our neighborhood cut our narra tree,because the root of narra damaged their house?

    Reply
  8. nona m. escoreal

    on   said 

    do all trees of any kind whatsoever need to have a permit to cut ?
    or does the law specify what trees only to cut :

    Reply
  9. Hi! i just want to ask if a permission is still needed if the trees are still small or have a small diameter trunk, or trees like banana tree, bamboo, and palm tree.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *