Tell it to SunStar: Preserve Masungi Geopark Project

Tell it to SunStar.
Tell it to SunStar.SunStar file photo

By Bishop Gerardo Alminaza

Vice President, Caritas Philippines

We, at Caritas Philippines, the development and advocacy arm of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, express our strongest support for the Masungi Geopark Project (Rizal Province) following the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) planned cancellation of the 2017 memorandum of agreement that established the award-winning reforestation project.

We believe the planned cancellation is unwise and would be detrimental to environmental protection efforts.

This is a time when the government should be supporting successful initiatives, not hindering them.

The success of the Masungi Georeserve Project is a testament to its positive impact. We are concerned about the real impact of this cancellation.

We echo Masungi Georeserve’s statement that the move seems to favor “large-scale fraudulent claimants, land grabbers, quarries and swimming pool resorts” rather than the Filipino people and the environment.

We urge the DENR to explore alternative solutions, including formal negotiations and open dialogue.

We join Masungi Georeserve in raising concerns that the cancellation could be a way to avoid the DENR’s obligation to remove illegal occupants from the protected area, including those with government ties.

We call upon the public to stand together against this “unwise” decision and fight for the preservation of the Masungi Geopark Project.

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