The senators favored 5 local bills to declare 5 areas in the country as “protected areas” under the National Integrated Protected Areas Systems (NIPAS).
The following bills for protected areas passed the final and third readings in the Senate:
- House Bill No. 9329 or the Banao Protected Landscape Act (Balbalan, Kalinga)
- House Bill No. 9327 or the Tirad Pass Protected Landscape Act (municipalities of Gregorio del Pilar, Quirino, Sigay, Cervantes, and Suyo in Ilocos Sur)
- House Bill No. 9326 or the Naga-Kabasalan Protected Act (Naga and Kabasalan municipality, Zamboanga Sibugay)
- House Bill No. 9325 or the Mt. Pulag Protected Landscape Act (municipalities of Kabayan, Boko and Buguias in Benguet; Tinoc, Ifugao and Kayapa in Nueva Vizcaya)
- House Bill No. 9206 or the Mt. Arayat Protected Landscape Act (Pampanga)
Through the approved measures, the areas in the country that are under conservation and protection will be further expanded to enhance biodiversity further, according to Sen. Cynthia Villar, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Environment, Natural Resources, and Climate Change.
Meanwhile, a bill to amend Baguio City’s 112-year-old charter for the city’s sustainable progress also slipped through the Senate.
Proposals to declare 5 places ‘protected areas’ pass senate
Under House Bill No. 888, new offices will be built in the city government, including the City Environment and Parks Management Officer, City Planning and Sustainable Development Officer, City Traffic and Transportation Management Officer.
The bill also aims to institutionalize the use of renewable energy from waste-to-energy technology in accordance with certain laws.
Moreover, the last reading of the Senate also approved House Bills Nos 5644 and 7927, declaring Carcar City in Cebu and San Vicente in Ilocos Sur as heritage zones.
According to Senate culture committee chairman Sherwin Gatchalian, Carcar City features several vintage houses and school buildings showcasing Spanish and American architecture. In San Vicente, several homes and structures dating from the Spanish colonial period.
If it becomes law, the Department of Tourism, provincial governments, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, and other cultural agencies will be instructed to develop a development plan for preservation, conservation, restoration, and maintenance of cultural and historical sites and structures in these areas.