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DENR regional office, salarin sa pagtatayo ng private resort sa Chocolate Hills – solon

MANILA, Philippines – Natuklasan ng ilang senador na tanging ang regional office ng Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) ang “salarin” sa inaprubahang permiso na magtayo ng pribadong resort sa paligid ng Chocolate Hills sa Bohol.

Sa unang pagdinig na isinagawa ng Senate committee on environment and natural resources, sinabi ni Senador Cynthia Villar na nabigo ang DENR regional sa Central Visayas na mahigpit na ipatupad ang batas laban sa paninira ng kapaligiran.

“The regional offices of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) seem to be remiss in their duty to preserve the country’s protected areas such as the Chocolate Hills Natural Monument in Bohol and Mount Apo Natural Park in North Cotabato, Davao del Sur and Davao City,” ayon kay Villar.

Bukod sa Chocolate Hills, iniimbestigahan din ng naturang komite ang ilang insidente ng paninira at panghihimasok ng residente sa Mt. Apo National Park at iba pang protected areas sa kabila nang may mahigpit na batas hinggil dito.

“Isa ang DENR regional offices sa ilang weak links” ng departamento sa pagpapatupad ng protection mechanism,” ayon kay Villar sa pagdinig nitong Miyerkules, Abril 3.

Sinabi ni Villar na natuklasan ng ilang senador na ang DENR regional office, bilang miyembro ng Protected Area Management Board (PAMB), ang responsible sa pagbubuo ng agenda sa meetings kaya naaprubahan ang pagtatayo ng istruktura sa kapaligiran ng Chocolate Hills.

“While the Philippine government has established a robust framework of policies, laws and regulations for the protection of our protected areas, there appears to be a deficiency in their implementation. Therefore, there is a need for greater efforts from those responsible to protect them, as well as from all of us Filipinos, to safeguard our protected areas,” ayon kay Villar.

Kasabay nito, kinastigo din ni Senador Nancy Binay, unang pumuna sa itinayong private resort sa Chocolate Hills, ang Captain’s Peak Private Resort na nakatayo sa paanan at pagitan ng dalawang burol na itinuturing na natural monument.

Sa pagdinig, hiniling ni Binay sa DENR, local government ng Bohol at kinauukulang ahensiya ng pamaghalaan na kumilos nang nagkakaisa upang makalikha ng solusyon sa problemang bumabalot sa Chocolate Hills.

Isa ang Chocolate Hills, ang naideklarang protected areas at kinilala bilang unang global geopark by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Tinukoy ni Binay ang kahalagahan ng pagtutukoy sa pagkukulang sa umiiral na patakaran upang protektahan at panatilhin ang ating kapaligiran at natural treasures ng bansa.

“Our Chocolate Hills are more than just a tourist destination. It is a UNESCO site and a protected area. They deserve to be taken care of because they play a crucial role in our conservation efforts, utilization and management of our natural genetic resources,” giit ni Binay.

Sa kanyang opening statement, sinabi ni Villar na malamang, isang kudlit lamang ng mas malaking problema ang kontrobersiyal bumabalot sa ilang protecte areas.

“We have yet to uncover the full extent of the challenges facing our protected areas. Consider this: the Philippines has a total of 248 protected areas—114 are formally legislated, 121 are initial components of the NIPAS System, and 13 are established through presidential proclamations. It would not be far-fetched to believe that many of our other protected areas also face problems threatening their sustainability,” ayon kay Villar.

“This inquiry could be an eye-opener, leading us to take definitive actions in the right direction for the conservation of our protected areas. Taking action now is essential, and this may well start with conducting a thorough survey, inventory, and recording of every structure in all our protected areas, alongside reviewing the documents and instruments that govern them, to identify and rectify any inconsistencies with their intended protection,” giit pa ng senadora. Ernie Reyes

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