DENR applauds the declaration of five new protected areas

DENR applauded the passage of legislation creating five new protected areas under the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS). Photo: DENR

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has welcomed the passage of legislation creating five new protected areas under the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS), bringing the total number of legislated protected areas in the country to 112.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte recently signed Republic Acts (RA) 11684, Mt. Arayat Protected Landscape Act, RA 11685, Mt. Pulag Protected Landscape Act, RA 11686, Naga-Kabasalan Protected Landscape Act, RA 11687, Tirad Pass Protected Landscape Act, and RA 11688, Banao Protected Landscape Act into law.

DENR Acting Secretary Jim O. Sampulna feels that by enacting new protected areas law, "more people realize the importance of placing biologically important areas under the intensified protection of the Expanded NIPAS Act of 2018."

"We applaud our legislators' recent efforts to create additional protected areas. May this serve as a catalyst for additional environmental protection in more biologically significant and related conservation areas," Sampulna said.

In 2018, RA 7586, also known as the NIPAS Act of 1992, was revised by RA 11038, popularly known as the E-NIPAS Act, which also legislated 94 protected zones under the System.

Meanwhile, Natividad Bernardino, Director of the DENR-Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB), advised the community and local government units surrounding the affected locations to "cooperate with the DENR in the sustainable management and effective administration of these newly legislated protected areas."

Mt. Arayat Protected Landscape is a potentially active stratovolcano in Pampanga, whereas Mt. Pulag Protected Landscape is a dormant volcano and the Philippines' third tallest mountain, straddling the provinces of Benguet and Ifugao.

The Naga-Kabasalan Protected Landscape, located in Mindanao, is a parcel of land with a large tract of mangroves between the cities of Naga and Kabasalan in Zamboanga Sibugay.

Tirad Pass Protected Landscape is a historically significant landmark in Ilocos Sur since it was the site of Gen. Gregorio del Pilar's gallantry during the 1899 Philippine–American War.

The Banao Protected Landscape in Kalinga results from the union of the Balbalasang-Balbalan National Park and the Banao watershed area, and it is home to the Banao tribe.

"Our laws would be rendered ineffective if people living nearby violated them, so we urge those who live nearby to assist the DENR in its mission to conserve these sites for their children and grandchildren," Bernardino said. —Tacloban News Update (Source: DENR)

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