‘There should be no structures at NNNP’

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Friday, May 23, 2014

THE Negros Occidental Provincial Government is firm on its stand to demolish illegal structures at the North Negros Natural Park (NNNP) in Salvador Benedicto town.

"That's what the law says that there should be no structures in that area," Jose Maria Valencia, provincial legal officer, said Thursday.

He made the statement in reaction to Mayor Jose Max Ortiz's statement that the Municipal Government will defy any demolition order.


However, "(w)e cannot comment on future and speculative comment," Valencia said.

He added that even the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has been firm in its stand that existing structures should not be at the area and that they should define first what is the “Multiple Use Zone” cited by Ortiz.

Valencia further clarified that the governing authority at NNNP is the National Integrated Protected Areas System (Nipas) Act and no local ordinance could prevail over a national law.

"If there is defiance to the demolition order, if ever there would be, it is the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) or any citizen for that matter who will decide because environmental protection is not just a local government concern. It is a universal concern because everybody is already complaining about climate change," Valencia said.

Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. had earlier said the DENR is ready to demolish the illegal structures at the NNNP in Salvador Benedicto, including those owned by individuals who were served cease and desist orders (CDOs) since their structures are within the protected area.

A total of 89 individuals were already served CDOs for putting up illegal structures within the NNNP.

The Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office issued 49 more CDOs on top of the 40 served earlier after the PAMB’s Technical Working Group reiterated its recommendation for the demolition of illegal structures. (TDE)

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on May 23, 2014.

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