Villar pushes for more protected areas

Villar pushes for more protected areas

By Ernie Reyes

MANILA — SIX more bills seeking to declare ecologically vital areas
in the Philippines as additional protected areas (PAs) under our
existing National Integrated Protected Areas Systems (NIPAS), was
sponsored by Senate Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and
Climate Change chairperson Senator Cynthia Villar.

The proposed measures in the Senate that Villar filed are the following:

1-Senate Bill No. 2278, which under Committee Report No. 300 or the
Mt. Pulag Protected Landscape Act. Mt. Pulag Benguet, Ifugao and
Nueva Vizcaya
2- Senate Bill No. 2280 under Committee Report No. 303 or the Banao
Protected Landscape Act. Banao is in Kalinga
3-Senate Bill No. 2279 under Committee Report No. 301 or the Tirad
Pass Protected Landscape Act. This area is found in Ilocos Sur
4- Senate Bill 1713 under Committee Report No. 299 or the Mt. Arayat
Protected Landscape Act. Mt. Arayat is located in the Pampanga
5- Senate Bill No. 2277 under Committee Report No. 304 or the Sicogon
Island Wildlife Sanctuary Act. The area is located in Iloilo
6-Senate Bill No. 2276 under Committee Report No. 302 or the
Naga-Kabasalan Protected Landscape Act. The area is located in the
municipalities of Naga and Kabasalan in Zamboanga Sibugay.
In her Omnibus Sponsorship Speech on the six Protected Area bills,
Villar cited the urgency and need to secure for the present and future
Filipinos the perpetual existence of all native plants and animals.

“Human activities have a profound impact on all components of the
natural environment particularly the effect of increasing population,
resource exploitation and industrial advancement,” said Villar.
“Because of this, it is critically important to protect and maintain
the natural, biological, and physical diversities of the environment.”

Under the NIPAS Act, she said Congress was able to strengthen the
protection status of 13 ecologically important areas through
individual legislations.

As newly installed Chairperson of the said committee in the 17th
Congress, Villar said vigorously pursued the passage of RA No. 11038
known as the “Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas System Act
of 2018” or the ENIPAS Act. ENIPAS Act included the legislation of
ninety-four (94) more PAs.

At present, she said there are 107 PAs classified as national parks in
the country. Containing 4,382,568.68 that is classified as national
parks under the provisions of the 1987 Philippine Constitution.

“But, the work does not stop there. We need to declare more PAs
through legislation to fulfill the state’s constitutional guarantee to
protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and
healthful ecology,” further stated Villar.

Leave a Reply