THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Central Visayas has finalized the technical description for the boundaries of Metro Cebu’s watersheds, the Central Cebu Protected Landscape.

The measurements will help authorities identify areas within the protected landscape that can be used for commercial projects, as well as restricted zones that should be reserved for reforestation and agro-forestry projects.

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The protected landscape, about 28,000 hectares, is composed of five watersheds:

Buhisan Watershed Forest Reserve, Mananga Watershed Forest Reserve and Kotkot-Lusaran Watershed Forest Reserve and the national parks of Central Cebu and Sudlon. The area spans the cities of Cebu, Talisay, Toledo, Danao and the towns of Minglanilla, Consolacion, Liloan, Compostela and Balamban.

“The technical description as stated in the law contained errors, and these were corrected through the DENR Administrative Order (DAO) 2010-20,” said Chamberlain Babiera, DENR’s Protected Area and Wildlife Division chief.

He was referring to Republic Act 9486 or the law creating the Central Cebu Protected Landscape (CCPL), enacted in 2007.

Under the DAO, issued on June 28, 2010 by then DENR secretary Horacio Ramos, the boundaries were revised, while all areas adjacent to the CCPL were designated as buffer zones or multi-purpose zones, where homes and other facilities can be constructed.

The DENR has allotted Buffer Zone 1, about 128 hectares, which will serve as a permanent buffer zone. Its development shall be complimentary to the CCPL Management Plan. Buffer Zone 2, which covers 660 hectares, covers alienable and disposable lands.

“Based on the CCPL, the DENR was tasked to identify the buffer zones. Normally, the delineation starts with identifying the boundaries and alienable and disposable areas within the watershed,” said Babiera.

“The buffer zones have to be identified. The buffer zones are the first layer of protection before the actual protected area,” he added.

Babiera said the DENR conducted only the assessment of Cabadiangan in the municipalities of Liloan and Compostela.

But further revisions were done on the boundaries of CCPL, when they found errors in the technical description provided by the law.

“We were given a control map by the Namria (National Mapping and Resource Information Authority) and we were able to make the necessary corrections. But there are no monuments that can be seen on the ground,” he said.

Babiera said there is still no budget for installing monuments that will identify the boundaries of the more than 28,000 hectares of watershed area.

“We are doing this piecemeal. As of now, we have installed monuments for seven kilometers within Balamban,” he said. (BAP)