DENR affirms position on Masungi Georeserve agreement amid controversy

Masungi Georeserve
RIZAL. The Masungi Georeserve revealed on February 12, 2024 that there have been multiple drilling operations within the area.

THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) affirmed on Thursday, July 4, 2024, its position on the 2017 memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the department and the Masungi Georeserve Foundation.

“The Filipino people own the area occupied by Masungi Georeserve Foundation and the operation of the resort venues that charge the public for day tours, meetings, and weddings remains non-compliant with Philippine laws," the statement said.

On Thursday, award-winning Hollywood actor and environmental activist Leonardo de Caprio took to Intagram to voice his support for the presevation of the Masungi Georeserve in the province of Rizal, and urged President Fredinand "Bongbong" Marcos to intervene in the protection of the conservation area.

De Caprio's statement was made following the announcement of DENR Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo Loyzaga to declare the 2017 agreement as void ab initio or not valid from the start.

The DENR added that the owners of the Masungi Georeserve Foundation (MGF) are the same as the signatories in the joint venture agreements and supplemental agreement, who have been investigated by the DENR and are currently the subject of investigation in aid of legislation by both houses of Congress.

The protection of Masungi Georeserve was signed into agreement in 2017 by the Masungi Georeserve Foundation Incorporated (MGFI) and then DENR Secretary Gina Lopez, with the aim to protect the area from "prolific land grabbing activities." (Jover Vencio, UP Tacloban Intern)

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