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National forest products statistics, Philippines



Forest is regarded as an important resource for development in the Philippines. Its vast expanse provides a vital economic base for a large portion of the population. It is also home to a wide range of flora and fauna, provides raw material for forest-based industries and furnishes the people and the economy of the Philippines with recreation areas, eco-tourism sites and a host of other benefits. As a result of the government’s conservation policy, the Philippines is now a net importer of wood products, having previously had an export-oriented forestry sector for many years.

Forest resources

As of 2000, forestlands in the Philippines comprised 15.8 million ha or 53 percent of the total area of the country. Alienable and disposable lands make up the remaining 14.2 million ha or 47 percent of the land area. The latest statistics estimate the country’s forest area at 5.4 million ha or roughly 18 percent of the total land area. Table 1 shows the break down of the national forest area by forest type.

Table 1. Forest area in the Philippines by forest type

Forest type

Area (millions ha)

Dipterocarp forest


Old growth




Pine forest


Mangrove forest


Mossy forest


Sub marginal forest


Forest-based industries


As of 2000, 20 timber licenses existed, covering a total forest area of 910 000 ha. Between 1990 and 2000 there was a significant decrease of 79 percent in the number of active timber licenses mainly as a result of the government’s strict forest conservation policy. To boost the timber supply, the private sector has been encouraged to venture into large-scale industrial forest plantation development, and by 2000, there were 172 Industrial Forest Plantations in existence. In the same year, approximately 53 percent of the total log production was attributed to Timber License Agreement holders and Industrial Forest Plantations.

Wood processing

In 2000, there were 86 sawmills in the Philippines with a total daily capacity of 3 747 m3. However, only 45 of these operated during the year due to local wood shortages, and as a result, only 151 000 m3 of sawnwood were produced.

In addition, there were 27 plywood plants and 19 veneer plants with daily rated capacities of 1.8 and 0.56 million m3, respectively. Actual production of plywood and veneer during the year registered at 286 000 and 178 000 m3, respectively.

Forest development strategies

The Philippine Strategy for Sustainable Development is the overarching framework within which the forest development strategies outlined in the following sections operate.

Master Plan for Forestry Development (MPFD)

The Master Plan for Forestry Development is a 25-year (1991-2015) nationwide blueprint for forestry sector development. The general goal of the plan is to transform the forestry sector into a condition whereby all forest resources will be under efficient and effective management. It is envisioned that the MPFD will steer the forestry sector and draw the support for development.

Specific objectives of the Master Plan are to:

The Community-Based Forest Management Strategy

The Government has adopted the Community-Based Forest Management strategy (CBFM) as the national strategy to ensure sustainable development of the country’s forest resources pursuant to the provisions of Executive Order No. 263 of 19 July 1995. The CBFM provides mechanisms for the effective management of forestlands and coastal areas through responsible development, protection, conservation and utilization of forest resources by organized and empowered local communities. As of 2000, there were 4 885 CBFM projects within the country covering a total area of 5.4 million ha and benefiting 477 984 families.

Forest Management

The National Forestation Program (NFP) works in parallel with the conservation and development measures adopted by the government, and plans to establishment around 3 million ha of plantation forest by 2015 to ensure sufficient wood supply. The NFP counts on both the government and private sector to meet the reforestation goal outlined in the MPFD. Major activities included in the NFP are watershed rehabilitation and management and establishment of industrial forest plantations in forestlands and privately owned areas.

In addition the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has launched a multi-faceted forest protection program that aims to protect the 15.8 million ha of forestlands in the country. Approaches include, the deployment of forest rangers in critical areas, aerial surveillance and pest and forest fire control.

Several forestry development projects are also being implemented with funding assistance from foreign donors. These include the RP-German Community Forestry Project (in Nagtipunan, Quirino Province), the Water Resources Development Project, the Natural Resources Management Program and the Forestry Sector Project.

The current forestry statistical system

The Forest Management Bureau of the DENR is responsible for collection, compilation, processing and dissemination of forestry statistics. Within the Bureau, the Forestry Statistics Section maintains and regularly updates the forestry data bank, which consists of several databases. Information collected by the FMB is detailed in Table 2.

The primary mode of dissemination of forestry statistics is through the Philippine Forestry Statistics Yearbook (PFS). The PFS is a compendium of basic information on forest resources, forestry operations, forest utilisation, forest products trade and prices, forest revenues and other forestry-related information such as employment, gross value added, etc. The information is derived from both primary and secondary sources. The primary sources of data are the regional offices, which submit regular reports as by-products of their administrative and regulatory functions. In some instances, data are also obtained from one off studies and surveys. Secondary data such as trade and gross value added in forestry are sourced from other government agencies. Figure 1 details the flows of information within the Forestry Statistical System.

Table 2. National and local information collected by the FMB



Production volume (m3)

Fuelwood, Log, Lumber, Plywood, Veneer, Non-timber forest products, Blockboard.

Forest charges (PhP)

Logs, Non-timber forest products.

Prices (PhP)

Log (m3), Lumber (board feet), Plywood, Lawanit, Fuelwood, Rattan.

Forest Products import (volume and value)

Wood chips, Wood waste, Wood charcoal, Log, Lumber, Plywood, Veneer, Fibreboard, Particleboard, Non-timber forest products, manufactured wood products, Furniture, Paper and Paperboard, Pulp and Wastepaper.

Forest products export (volume and value)

Wood chips, Wood waste, Log, Lumber, Plywood, Veneer, Fibreboard, Particleboard, Non-timber, Manufactured wood products, Furniture, Paper and Paperboard, Pulp and Wastepaper.

Licenses issued

Timber Licenses, Other Licenses

Non-timber licenses issued


Number of wood processing plants

Sawmills (Active with & w/out Timber Concession), Sawmills (Existing with & w/out Timber Concession), Veneer mills, Plywood mills, Blockboard manufacturing plants, Particle board manu-facturing plants.

Economic indicators in forestry

GNP & GVA in Forestry, GVA growth rate of

Indicators of forestry education

Number of Schools, Course enrolment, graduates in Forestry

Watershed management information

Watershed forest reserves

Reforestation information

Reforested area

Community-based forest management information

Community-base forest management projects

Industrial Forest Management information

Industrial forest management agreements

Grazing management

Forestland grazing leases & agreements

Land area by status (ha)

Land Classification by type


Figure 1. Forestry statistical system flowchart


Flow of reports

The current statistical system within the DENR is structured into four organisational layers as shown in Figure 2. The first layer comprises the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO). CENRO acts as the frontline implementer of projects and activities in the field, where the majority of data originate. CENRO collects required data and submits it in prescribed formats on designated dates to the second layer of the statistical system, the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO). The PENROs summarise reports from the different CENROs in their jurisdiction and submit reports to the Regional Environment and Natural Resources Offices (RENRO). The RENRO likewise summarise the PENRO reports within each region and submit reports to the upper layer, the Central Office. The Central Office consists of the DENR proper and the different Bureaus and attached agencies.

Figure 2. DENR revised statistical reporting flow

Primary sources of forestry information (within DENR)

Forestry data that emanate from the field offices are reported using standard formats. These reports are submitted regularly to the Central Office who, in turn, processes the data into more usable information. Several information systems have been developed and are currently implemented within the FMB. These systems generate information that is mostly disseminated through the Philippine Forestry Statistics Yearbook.

Statistical Reporting System (SRS)

The SRS is a data generating mechanism implemented within the DENR by virtue of Department Administrative Order (DAO) 89-133 amended by DAO 94-10 and DAO 99-09. The objectives of the system are to generate timely and reliable statistics and to establish and maintain unified, integrated and organised databases of environment and natural resources (ENR) statistics. The SRS covers all ENR sectors, i.e. forestry, environmental management, ecosystem research and development, land management, mines and geo-sciences, protected areas and wildlife.

Under the system, the forestry sector uses 10 prescribed formats, 8 of which deal with production of forest products. The products covered include sawlog/veneer log, pulpwood, poles and piles, fuelwood and charcoal, lumber, veneer, plywood, blockboard, other wood-based panels and non-timber forest products. The remaining two formats focus on forestry licenses and permits, and employment, which was included in the year 2000. The SRS follow the standard flow of reporting from the CENRO to the Central Office. Reports are submitted quarterly to the FMB.

Revised Price Monitoring System (RPMS), DAO 2000-55

The RPMS generates data on prices of all forest products. The field offices submit reports at monthly intervals. Data collection is done by the price monitoring units at the CENRO level and follows the general flow of reports. Price data on log and selected non-timber forest products are used as the basis for determining charge rates for these products as provided for by Republic Act 7161, otherwise known as the Forest Charges Law of 1991. Reports are submitted to the FMB.

Physical Performance Monitoring System (DAO 92-33)

The Physical Performance Monitoring System (PPMS) is a monthly reporting mechanism performance with respect to budgeted activities. The system generates data on reforestation, watershed management, CBFM, TSI, forest protection and other regular activities within the sector. The PPMS is implemented by the Central Planning Office, which prepares and publishes the Annual Report of the DENR.

Forest Stocks Monitoring System (FSMS)

The FSMS is a computer-based database and monitoring system that has been piloted in one region in Mindanao and will be implemented nationwide within the year. It is designed to:

The FSMS will provide data supporting sustainable forest management in terms of monitoring environmental quality, development of criteria and indicators and monitoring forest cover change. FSMS data will also provide vital inputs to DENR decision support systems such as land use modelling and allocation, environmental impact assessments, silvicultural management systems and operational planning and budgeting for local DENR offices. Training of staff to be involved in system implementation from field operations to computer applications has been completed.

Secondary sources of forestry information (outside DENR)

National Statistics Office (NSO)

The NSO is the official source of statistics on forest products trade. The FMB collects monthly trade data from NSO publication and carries out re-processing so that data presentation is consistent with commodity groupings and units of measurement used in other FMB gene rated statistics. The NSO produces monthly statistical releases with a lag time of two to three months and usually publishes the trade statistics yearbook in the year following the reference year. Apart from trade statistics, the NSO collects other forestry-related data from their regular surveys and censuses. The Annual Survey of Establishments generates data on the number of forest-based establishments according to size (small/medium/large), average employment by type of worker for logging and related activities, revenues and sales, etc. The Census of Population, carried at ten yearly intervals, generates data on the number of households consuming fuelwood, and the number of people engaged in informal activities in forestry (e.g. hunting, fuelwood gathering, charcoal making).

National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB)

The NSCB publishes statistical yearbooks and coordinates closely with FMB to estimate Gross Value Added (GVA) in forestry and to determine the contribution of the sector to Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Both the FMB and NSCB act as simultaneous providers and users of each other’s data.

Department of Education

The Department of Education keeps a record of all schools offering forestry and allied courses and also of the number of forestry graduates.

Forest products data collection, validation and dissemination

Data collection

Data on forestland use/forest cover are projections based on the results of the RP-German Forest Resources Inventory Project of the DENR conducted between 1983 and 1988. Models were developed by the project to update estimates each year. However, projections have been discontinued and the model is considered outdated and unrealistic; the latest available data is from 1997. Currently, an assessment of the forest situation, based on a more recent study, is being undertaken to update land-use information.

Information on the status of forestry projects including details of area reforested, CBFM progress, forest disturbance, forest protection, etc. are brought together from the accomplishment reports submitted by regional offices.

Data on production and utilisation of forest resources and the wood processing industry is obtained from periodic reports from license and permit holders monitored by the regional and field offices. Harvesting of timber and non-timber items by communities and the private sector is managed by the DENR through licenses and appropriate tenurial instruments. The licensees as provided in the terms and conditions of the license are mandated to submit monthly production reports. Wood processing plants are also monitored by the DENR and are also mandated to submit monthly production reports. Standard formats are prescribed to achieve uniformity and facilitate compilation and processing. Information extracted from these reports includes area, allowable cut and actual production of timber, production from wood processing mills and non-timber forest products production. Basic information on logging companies and processing plants is also available from operation plans, annual concession reports, sawmill reports, etc.

Trade data, received from the National Statistics Office, are based on recorded trade transactions for given periods. To avoid discrepancies and inconsistencies, these data are not generated within the DENR. The FMB re-processes raw data so that units are consistent with those used for production, and commodity groupings are in accord with the desired table format. Trade data includes import and export of logs and processed wood products, such as sawnwood, veneer, plywood, other wood-based panels and non-timber forest products. NSO also generate other forestry-related data through surveys and censuses.

Data on prices of forest products are based on monthly surveys of selected establishments, conducted by regional price monitoring units, usually by interviews. Included in the survey are the prices of log, sawnwood and plywood by species, grade and size, and NTFPs such as rattan, bamboo and others.

Data on revenues, from forest charges, etc. are obtained from reports based on actual receipts of payment by permit/license holders, received from the regional offices.

Data validation

All data, except trade data and information coming from outside offices, are assessed for completeness and reliability and validated at least twice annually. Comparing the licensees’ reported figure with the DENR scalers’ report allows validation of log production. The Annual Concession Report, which contains the timber licensee’s report on past operations, is also used to cross check production data. Whenever discrepancies occur, adjustments are made to reflect official figures. With regard to the FSMS, inventory records of timber to be cut may serve to help detect irregularities in actual cutting operations.

The SRS (Forestry Sector) has a range of validation mechanisms. The use of similar formats for planning and implementing operations allows some degree of cross checking. For example, tree-cutting permits, which indicate, among other things, volumes to be cut are checked against reports of actual cut. If the two do not match, enquiries are made to the concerned regional office. Assessment of the timeliness and completeness of reports is regularly undertaken and serves as a basis for rating the compliance of the regional offices. Performance of regional offices, in terms of budget targets achieved, is validated annually through field visits by monitoring teams.

In the case of logs, price data are validated by comparing regional reports with sales invoices. This method is, however, ineffective since most companies do not want to disclose information regarding business transactions. A more effective method is for validating teams to conduct random, on the spot forest products price enquiries although telephone enquiries are sometimes resorted to when there is an immediate need for price information.

Data processing and analysis

The advent of computers has made data management considerably easier. In the Central Office and most field offices, computers are widely used for storing, processing and analysing data. To facilitate management of data, tailored computer programs have been developed and are currently in use in FMB. Software packages such as Excel and Access are also widely used and statistical packages such as MICROSTAT and SPSS are used in data analysis.

Dissemination of data

There are several media for disseminating forestry statistics. Among these, the Philippine Forestry Statistics Yearbook has a wide distribution and is considered the official publication on forestry matters. Data are also disseminated through fax, e-mail, and diskette upon request. Recently, forestry data has also been available through the Internet on the FMB and DENR web sites, and plans are underway to disseminate data in compact discs.

Uses and users of forestry statistics

Several uses are made of forestry statistics, highlighting its importance in both government and private endeavours. Forestry data serve as vital inputs to the following:

Users of forestry statistics include the following:

Methods of data dissemination include the yearbook, e-mail, fax and the Internet.

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