5 PANUKALANG BATAS PARA SA DAGDAG PROTECTED AREAS NILAGDAAN NA

Cynthia Villar

IKINATUWA ni Senadora Cynthia Villar ang pagsasabatas ni President Rodrigo Duterte sa kanyang limang panukalang nagdedeklara sa Mt. Pulag at iba pang lugar sa bansa bilang protected areas (PAs).

Pinasalamatan din nito ang Pangulo sa paglagda sa Republic Acts (RAs) 11684, 11685, 11686, 11687, at 11688 na nagdadragdag sa Mt. Arayat sa Pampanga, Mt. Pulag sa Benguet, Naga-Kabasalan sa Zamboanga Sibugay, Tirad Pass sa Ilocos Sur at Banao sa Kalinga sa talaan ng protected areas sa ilalim ng National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS).

Itinatag ang NIPAS sa ilalim ng Republic Act 7586, na inamiyendahan ng RA 11038 o ang Expanded NIPAS Act of 2018.

Dahil dito, sinabi ni Villar, chairperson ng Senate committee on environment and natural resources, na mayroon na tayong 112 protected areas sa bansa na idineklara sa pamamagitan ng legislation.

“The signing of these laws would mean more forest lands; landscapes; ecologically rich, unique and biologically important areas that are habitats of threatened species of plants and animals; biographic zones and rela­ted ecosystem, whether terrestrial wetland or marine would be protected,” giit ni Villar.

“These areas would be given protected status by legislative action, in order to ensure their conservation,” dagdag pa niya.

Isinulong ni Villar ang pagpasa sa E-NIPAS Act of 2018, na nagpapalakas sa legal framework sa pagtatatag, pangangasiwa at pagpapanatili sa lahat ng  protected areas sa bansa or yaong mga kinilala na  “ecologically rich at biologically important public lands.”

“Under the NIPAS Act, it is the policy of the state “to secure for the Filipino people of present and future gene­rations the perpetual existence of all native plants and animals through the establishment of a comprehensive system of integra­ted protected areas,” ani Villar.

“I hope that all those concerned will get their acts together and strongly adhere to the provisions of these newly-enacted laws,” sabi pa niya.

Sinabi sa mga nilagdaang batas na posible ang epektibong panga­ngasiwa sa mga lugar na ito sa kooperasyon ng national government, local government units (LGUs), concerned nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), private entities at local communities.

Itinatakda rin sa batas na siguraduhin ang mobilization resources para sa institutional mechanisms, pati na rin ang full scientific at technical support sa conservation biodiversity at integrity ng ecosystems, culture at indigenous practices.

Sa ilalim ng RAs 11684, 11685, 11686, 11687, and 11688, “the Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), upon the recommendation of the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB), may designate areas surrounding the protected areas for the purpose of providing an ‘extra layer of protection’ where restrictions may be applied.”

“In cases where the designated buffer zone would cover private lands, the owners thereof shall be required to design their development with due consi­deration to the protected area management plan,” ayon pa rin sa mga bagong batas.

Binigyan diin sa mga bagong batas na “the use and enjoyment of the protected landscapes must be consistent with the principles of biological diversity and sustainable development.” VICKY CERVALES