The Department of Environment and Natural Resources in CALABARZON has issued and served show cause orders to owners of more than 200 structures along the Marikina-Rizal-Laguna-Quezon (Marilaque) Highway, which traverses protected areas in the region.
The structures were built in the designated road right-of-way by the Department of Public Works and Highways along Marilaque Highway that traverses inside the Kaliwa River Forest Reserve, the Upper Marikina River Basin Protected Landscape, and areas covered by Presidential Proclamation 1636 in some parts of Laguna and Quezon.
DENR-CALABARZON Regional Executive Director Nilo B. Tamoria said these areas are protected by Republic Act (RA) 7586 or the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) Act, as well as RA 11038 or the Expanded or E-NIPAS Act of 2018.
“Kapuna-puna po ang mga istruktura sa loob ng mga Pinangangalagaang Pook at isa po sa mandato ng DENR, sa pamamagitan rig Protected Area Management Board (PAMB), ay i-enforce ang E-NIPAS. Malaki po ang implikasyon ng mga istrukturang ito sa biodiversity...hindi na po kaila ang epekto ng climate change, kaya po sinimulan po namin sa araw na ito at itutuloy tuloy ang pagse-serve ng show cause order.”
Tamoria added: “Eventually, ang layunin natin sa protected areas ay mapanatili ang paglago ng ating kagubatan at ng biodiversity...Ang atin pong ginagawa ay bahagi lamang po ng implementasyon ng ating batas, kung may legal na karapatan pong manatili, ay irerespeto po natin iyon. Kaya nanawagan po kami sa ating mga kababayan na sumunod lamang po sa batas nang sa gayon ay wala po tayo maging problema.”
Based on Sections (n) and (o) of RA 7586, as amended, permission from the PAMB and the DENR should be secured prior to occupation or installation of any structure inside protected areas.
A show cause order serves as a way to determine whether an occupant has legal rights to occupy an area.
“Ito po ay proseso para mabigyan natin ng pagkakataon ang mga kababayan nating naninirahan o nag-o-operate ng establishment sa loob ng protected areas na makapagpaliwanag kung bakit sila naroon,” Tamoria explained.
Last October 27, the DENR-CALABARZON—together with regional offices of other national government agencies and local government units (LGUs) convened in preparation for the simultaneous issuance of show cause orders to structures inside protected areas and timberland in Region 4A.
Prior to the issuance of the show cause orders, concerned community and provincial environment and natural resources officers initiated a meeting with LGUs, barangays and counterparts from the partner agencies to disseminate and clarify the details of the activity.
The DENR-CALABARZON will assess the written explanations along with necessary documents provided by the owners of the structures issued with show cause orders.
In case of illegal occupancy or installation of structure, the owner will be served with notice to vacate and/or cease and desist order. The owner of the structure may be fined or charged with a cause.
Based on Section 24 of DENR Administrative Order 2019-05, the Protected Area Management Office shall conduct an inventory of all facilities inside a protected area.
The PAMB with the assistance of the DENR, may impose conditions for the continuous operation of a facility found to be detrimental to the protected area until its eventual relocation. If the conditions are violated, the owner of the facility shall be made liable.###