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Pangangalaga sa Mt. Balatukan Range

ISINUSULONG ni Senator Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada ang pangangalaga sa napakagandang Mount Balatukan Range sa bahagi ng Misamis Oriental, partikular sa lungsod ng Gingoog at mga munisipalidad ng Claveria, Medina at Balingasag, at may lawak na humigit-kumulang na 30,965 ektarya.

Aniya sa iniakdang Senate Bill 1643, “The Mt. Bala­tukan Range is home to a diverse species of flora and fauna including the Philippine Eagle, Mindanao Lorikeet bird, Tarsier, Giant Fruit Bat, Monitor Lizard, Flying Lemur, and six species of bats, four of which are endemic. The Mindanao endemic Ptenochirus minor and the insect-eating Pipistrelius Javanicus can be also found in the area.

At 750 meters to 1,350 meters above sea level, lowland residual Dipterocarp forest dominates the landscape, with an abundance of very tall trees such as Lauan, Nato, Tanguile and Makaasim; while at about 1,350 meters, moss is noticeable on the main trunks and branches of trees; at 1,700 meters, giant ferns are abundant; while at about 1,800 meters, the trees become stunted and twisted.”

Kaugnay nito, itinatakda ng panukala ang sumusunod:

1. This bill seeks to provide for the management, protection, sustainable development and rehabilitation of the Mt. Balatukan Range, hereby declared a protected area… to be known as the Mt. Balatukan Range Natural Park, and its peripheral areas as its buffer zone.

2. There shall be created, a Protected Area Superintendent Office, which shall:

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• Enforce rules and regulations to protect the area and its resources from trespassers, damage, vandalism and illegal occupancy.

• Seize and assume custody of apprehended items after issuance of appropriate seizure receipts.

• Issue special-use permit for game fishing, camping and other short term and low-impact recreational activities to be undertaken for not more than one week.

• Take the lead in the implementation of the management plan of the protected area specifically in research studies, survey and inventory, information, education and communication, eco-tourism, restoration, rehabilitation and alternative livelihood activities within the appropriate management zones and other projects of the protected area and its buffer zone.

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