PAMB to decide on case of 91 encroachers

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Friday, September 5, 2014


THE Protected Area Management Board of the Northern Negros Natural Park is expected to decide on the case of 91 encroachers in Salvador Benedicto this month.

Regional Director Jim Sampulna of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, who chairs the PAMB, said Thursday he will push for a meeting this month to discuss the case of Salvador Benedicto.

The 91 individuals, mostly prominent personalities in Negros Occidental, including Mayors Andrew Montelibano of Murcia and Jose Max Ortiz of Salvador Benedicto were served with cease and desist orders (CDOs) by the DENR after they were found to have built structures within the NNNP without any appropriate clearance prescribed by law.

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Of the 91 individuals issued with CDOs, two or three are within the Strictly Protected Zone while the rest are located in the Multi-Use Zone.

Sampulna said that encroachers could be made to pay appropriate penalties based on the area they occupied under the Special Agreement on Protected Area depending on the mapping of the area.

The DENR official said the PAMB action on the Salvador Benedicto case has been delayed.

The Technical Working Group has recommended the demolition of the structures at the restricted area of the NNNP while the local government units included in the PAMB have yet to come up with its recommendation.

Provincial Environment and Natural Resources officer Andres Untal said the Forest Land Use Plan of Salvador Benedicto has been approved and must also be considered when deciding on the issue.

Most of the 91 individuals who were issued CDOs said that they have been partners of government in protecting and replanting of trees in the area, and have been spending their own resources to maintain ecological balance in Salvador Benedicto. (TDE)

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on September 05, 2014.

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