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JULY 20, 2016

NR # 4267B

Solons seek creation of National Integrated Protection System (NIPAS)

to secure RPs biodiversity
Lawmakers are pushing for the creation of a National Integrated Protection System (NIPAS)
where areas cradling endangered species are recognized as heritage sites, in order to provide the proper
defenses and security to the Philippines biodiversity.
AKO Bicol Party-list Reps. Rodel Batocabe, Alfredo Garbin, Jr. and Christopher Co raised the
proposal through House Bill 133 or the proposed Enhanced National Integrated Protected Areas System
Citing data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the lawmakers said the countrys
abundant natural resources have been on the decline since 2006, while the population has meteorically
risen to about 102 million.
The 102 million is no doubt a number requiring the consumption of more of our natural
resources, and sometimes, their depletion and destruction. In a rapidly modernizing and technologicallyoriented society, it is easy to forget caring for the natural environment in the name of progress,
according to the lawmakers.
Batocabe cited Section 2 of Article XII of the 1987 Philippine Constitution mandates that The
State shall protect the nations marine wealth in its archipelagic waters, territorial waters, and exclusive
economic zone, and reserve its use and enjoyment exclusively to Filipino citizens.
Moreover, as the owner of all the natural resources of the Philippines, Batocabe said the State has
the implicit responsibility to care for all forestry, waters, flora, fauna, and other natural resources for the
benefit of the bureaucracy.
One of the harms we have to guard against is the loss of our biodiversity, whether natural,
physical, or biological. Tens of species are in threat of being lost every year worldwide, and the effects
are similar in the Philippines, where hundreds of species are vulnerable, endangered, or critically
endangered, for both flora and fauna, said Batocabe.
In line with the imminent loss of the countrys biodiversity, he said they are pushing for the
creation of a National Integrated Protection System where areas cradling these endangered species are
recognized as heritage sites, in order to provide the proper defenses and security to the Philippines
House Bill 133 provides it is the declared State policy to secure for the Filipino people and for
future generations, the perpetuation of all native plants and animals species through the establishment of
a comprehensive system of integrated protected areas within the classification of national park as
provided for in the Constitution.
This policy is in cognizant of the impact of human activities on all components of the natural
environment, particularly those brought about by increasing population, resource exploitation and
industrial advancement. It also recognizes the critical importance of protecting and maintaining the
natural, biological, and physical diversities of the environment notably on areas with biologically unique
features to sustain human life and development, as well as plant and animal life.

It is hereby recognized that these areas, although distinct in features, possess common ecological
values that may be incorporated into a holistic plan representative of the natural heritage. Moreover,
effective administration of these areas is possible only through cooperation among national government,
local governments and concerned private organizations; and that the use and enjoyment of these protected
areas must be consistent with the principles of biological diversity and sustainable development.
To this end, there is hereby established a National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS),
which shall encompass physically unique areas and biologically significant public lands that serve as
habitats of rare and endangered species of plants and animals, biogeographic zones and related
ecosystems, whether terrestrial, wetland or marine, all of which shall be designated as protected areas.
The NIPAS shall recognize conservation areas and the management regimes of local governments
units (LGUs), communities and indigenous peoples (IPs).
The State shall ensure the full implementation of the Act by establishing the institutional
mechanism for the mobilization of resources and providing for adequate scientific and technical support
for the conservation of biodiversity and the integrity of ecosystems and cultural practices.
The following categories of protected areas are hereby established: Strict Nature Reserve; Natural
Park; Natural Monument; Wildlife Sanctuary; Protected Landscapes and Seascapes; Resource Reserve;
Natural Biotic Areas; and Other categories as maybe established by law or international conventions and
agreements of which the Philippine Government is a signatory.
The establishment and operationalization of the NIPAS shall involve all areas or islands in the
country proclaimed, designated or set aside, pursuant to a law, presidential decree, presidential
proclamation or executive order as national park, game refuge, bird and wildlife sanctuary, wilderness
area, strict nature reserve, watershed, mangrove reserve, fish sanctuary, natural and historical landmark,
protected and managed landscape/seascape as well as identified and still to be identified old-growth
forests before the effectivity of the Act, are hereby designated as initial components of the System. The
initial components of the System shall be governed by existing laws, rules and regulations not
inconsistent with the Act until delisted.
All DENR records pertaining to the protected areas, including maps and technical description or
natural boundaries, copies of rules and regulations governing them, copies of notices, and reports
submitted to Congress on pending addition, elimination, or modification shall be made available to the
public. These documents shall also be made available to the public in the respective DENR Regional
Offices, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Offices (PENROs) and Community Environment
and Natural Resources Offices (CENROs) and Protected Area Management Offices (PAMOs) where
protected areas are located.
The DENR shall conduct suitability assessment for each of the proposed protected area to find out
if suitable for inclusion in the NIPAS.
A Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) for each of the designated, established, and
declared protected areas shall be created. The PAMB shall, by a majority vote, decide on the allocations
of budget, approve proposals for funding, and decide on matters relating to planning, peripheral
protection and general administration of the protected area in accordance with the management plan.
The PAMB shall oversee the Protected Area Management Office and approve the management
plan of the protected area and ensure its harmonization and integration with the Ancestral Domain
Sustainable Development Plan, land use plan and other development plan. (30) rbb