Sudecors’ corporate logging activities and illegal logging in Mindanao, Philippines

Legal and illegal logging, environmental destruction, attacks and extrajudicial killings: Social tensions increase over the use of natural resources within Sudecor’s forest concession.


Surigao Development Corporation (Sudecor) is one of the oldest and largest Philippine logging and forestry companies, owned by the economically and politically influential Puyat family. Sudecor is active in Mindanao since 1959 [1], where it was granted a new Integrated Forestry Management Agreement (IFMA) in 2009, amounting to no less than 75,671ha of forest area. The company’s activities faced opposition for contributing to environmental destruction, due to intensive logging methods such as the destructive bulldozer-dragging method. It became become target of anti-logging campaigns by some indigenous groups [2], while other indigenous Manobos have been in conflict with the company, as it operates on their ancestral lands, and did not comply with set agreements [3].

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Basic Data
NameSudecors’ corporate logging activities and illegal logging in Mindanao, Philippines
ProvinceSurigao del Sur
SiteMunicipalities of Madrid, Carmen, Lanuza, Cortes, Tandag, Tago and San Miguel
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Management)
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Land acquisition conflicts
Logging and non timber extraction
Specific CommoditiesLand
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsSudecor began its operation in Mindanao back in 1959, through a Timber License Agreement (TLA) [1].

Surigao Development Corporation (SUDECOR) holds nowadays one of the largest Integrated Forestry Management Agreements (IFMA) countrywide, amounting to 75,671ha. The IFMA was granted on November 4, 2009, with expiry date of December 31, 2034. The IFMA expands over the municipalities of Madrid, Carmen, Lanuza, Cortes, Tandag, Tago and San Miguel [8].

Sudecor moreover has operated a Plywood Manufacturing Plant in Cantilan [1].

The operation of the IFMA was stopped in 2011 due to the nationwide logging Moratorium. After the ban, illegal logging increased dramatically in the area [7].

Within the IFMA concession area are 5 certificates of ancestral domain titles (CADT), given to Manobo communities [7].

No information on investment size, funding sources, production data and number of affected people neither by Sudecor nor by illegal loggers could be found.
Project Area (in hectares)75,671
Level of Investment (in USD)unknown
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Populationseveral thousands
Start Date2006
Company Names or State EnterprisesSurigao Development Corporation (Sudecor) (SUDECOR) from Philippines - logging, forestry
Jeroking Enterprise from Philippines - manufacturing, timber
Relevant government actorsDepartment of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersKahugpungan sa Tribong Mamanwa ug Manobo, Kalasag and Yudong

Green Mindanao Association Inc

Diocese of Tandag’s Social Action Center (SAC)

Caraga Watch

Lovers of Nature Foundation Incorporated
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Religious groups
Indigenous Manobo tribes
Forms of MobilizationBlockades
Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Property damage/arson
Threats to use arms
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Other Environmental impacts
Potential: Air pollution, Food insecurity (crop damage), Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Otherincreasing floods from deforestation during rainy season
Health ImpactsVisible: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Other Health impacts
Potential: Accidents, Deaths
Otherin the Philippines, there was a general increase of deaths or injured persons due to floods caused by deforestation
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Increase in violence and crime, Loss of livelihood, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Violations of human rights, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Specific impacts on women
Project StatusStopped
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCorruption
Institutional changes
New legislation
Violent targeting of activists
Project temporarily suspended
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.There was a logging ban, however after the ban, illegal logging increased and anti illegal logging leaders were killed. There haven't been any news that illegal logging has been stopped.
Sources and Materials

The Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act of 1997 (IPRA)
[click to view]

FAO Review of Forestry Policies in the Philippines
[click to view]

[click to view]


[1] Sudecor presentation during the 9th HRSD Conference and Exhibit. Available at (accessed 20/05/2015)
[click to view]

[2] online (04/05/2013): "Fight vs illegal logging seen in murder of Manobo chieftain" (accessed 20/05/2015)
[click to view]

[3] PIPLINKS online (16/09/2010); "IPs block roads leading to logging company in Surigao Sur" (accessed 20/05/2015)
[click to view]

[4] online (08/12/2006): "Gov't Procedures Viewed by Mindanao Indigenous Communities as Pro-Mining" (accessed 20/05/2015)
[click to view]

[5] GMANEWS online (13/11/2009): "12 killed, another dozen hurt in Surigao clash" (accessed 20/05/2015)
[click to view]

[6] Briefer on Executive Order No. 23 s. 2011, declaring a national moratorium on logging natural and residual forests (accessed 20/05/2015)
[click to view]

[7] Mindanews online (17/09/2012): "WHERE HAVE ALL THE FORESTS GONE? Illegal logging intensifies in Surigao Sur despite total log ban" (accessed 20/05/2015)
[click to view]

[9] online (17/09/2012): "Illegal loggers win in log ban’s weak enforcement" (accessed 20/05/2015)
[click to view]

Other Documents

[8] List of IFMA concessions, as of March 2010 Source: DENR
[click to view]

Forest concession map Source:
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorA. Scheidel (ICTA-UAB) / arnim "dot" scheidel "at" gmail "dot" com
Last update05/06/2015