By Eugene Y. Adiong
The Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) of the Northern Negros Natural
Park (NNNP) yesterday voted against the recommendation of the Technical Working
Group (TWG) to demolish the illegal structures found inside the park.
The PAMB chaired by Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. during
yesterday’s special meeting voted 34 for those against the recommendation, 11 in
favor and one abstained.
The meeting was attended by six of the 11 mayors covered by the NNNP,
barangay captains, indigenous people, non-government organizations, the academe
and the religious sectors.
Murcia Mayor Andrew Montelibano voted against the TWG recommendation, saying
that while he accepts that there should be “no compromise on areas considered as
strictly no-build zones, those at the multi-use zones should have 60 percent for
reforestation and 40 percent for agri-tourism activities.”
Salvador Benedicto Mayor Jose Max Ortiz said he also voted against the
measure as it will “economically cripple his town.”
“Instead there should be regulation so as not to compromise the town’s
bio-diversity. The TWG recommendation will cause a lot of trouble if
implemented,” Ortiz said.
Calatrava Mayor Araceli Somosa is also against it, citing the fact that her
town is still in the process of formulating its own Forest Land Use Plan (FLUP)
and majority of the sitios of two big barangays are located inside the NNNP.