Public warned vs occupying protected areas
“Occupying or dwelling in any public land within a protected area without clearance from the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) is prohibited under Republic Act 11038 or the Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas System Act of 2018,” Environment Undersecretary Jim Sampulna said over the weekend.
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Public warned vs occupying protected areas
Elizabeth Marcelo (The Philippine Star) - August 10, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has warned the public against occupying lands classified as protected areas, saying it is ready to evict them even amid the pandemic.

“Occupying or dwelling in any public land within a protected area without clearance from the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) is prohibited under Republic Act 11038 or the Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas System Act of 2018,” Environment Undersecretary Jim Sampulna said over the weekend.

The agency issued the statement after discovering the presence of illegal occupants at the Upper Marikina Watershed and Masungi Wildlife Sanctuary in Baras, Rizal.

The occupants were identified as members of the Guardians International 19th Quarters Inc.

The provincial environment and natural resources office as well as the environmental protection and enforcement task force demolished the structures and fences built by the occupants on July 30.

The law prohibits the construction and maintenance not only of establishments, but also of fences and enclosures within a protected area without authority from the PAMB and DENR, Sampulna said.

Violators will face a fine ranging from P200,000 to P1 million or imprisonment of one to six years, or both.

Protected areas such as the Upper Marikina Watershed and Masungi Wildlife Sanctuary are critical in maintaining balance in the ecosystem as these are the main sources of biodiversity and provides natural processes of the land.

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