THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) recommended to reclassify Mt. Data National Park.

The Protected Areas and Wildlife Management Bureau of the DENR wanted the forested lands from Atok to Mt. Data plateau to Sabangan area reclassified as residential or agricultural areas.

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“The area which is now called the Mt. Data National Park no longer has its forested features unlike before and its classification is now recommended to be amended,” DENR Regional Director Clarence Baguilat said.

However, Baguilat said the reclassification is no assurance that the area will already be opened as agricultural or residential land.

“The DENR cannot recommend it for agricultural or residential purpose unless a study will be done to determine the suitability of the land,” Baguilat added.

Baguilat also said they will continue monitor and safeguard the remaining forested areas of Mt. Data from encroachment and illegal logging activities.

Meanwhile, the DENR in the region is targeting 2,000 hectares for new plantations for seedlings.

“Last year we have 7,000 hectares planted with seedlings for our reforestation efforts and we will still take care of them aside from the new seedlings that will be planted this year,” Baguilat said. (JM Agreda)