Press Release
June 20, 2021

Villar pushes for more protected areas under NIPAS

Senator Cynthia A. Villar has filed five separate bills to include additional protected areas under the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) to ensure their management, protection and funding.

Villar, chairperson of the Senate environment and natural resources commitee, said the NIPAS Act declared it is the policy of the State "to secure for the Filipino people of present and future generations the perpetual existence of all native plants and animals through the establishment of comprehensive system of integrated protected areas."

The system, Villar said, shall encompass ecologically rich, unique and biologically important areas that are habitats of threatened species of plants and animals, biographic zones and related ecosystem, whether terrestial, wetland or marine.

The 1987 Philippine Constitution mandates the State shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rythm and harmony of nature. In line witn safeguarding a healthful ecology, the Constitution likewise provides that Congress shall determine the national parks, which shall be conserved and may not be increased nor diminished except by law.

At pressent, Villar related there are 107 protected areas in the country that have been so declared through legislation.

However, based on the records and suitability assessments by the DENR-Biodiversity Management Bureau, she pointed out there are still numerous sites in the country which necessitate 'protected area' status.

The bills filed by Villar for additional protected areas are the following:

-SB No. 2276 declaring a parcel of land in Naga and Kabasalan, Zamboanga Sibugay a protected landscape to be called Naga-Kabasalan Protected Landscape. The initial assessment by DENR Region IX and Zamboanga Sibugay LGU in 2006 showed

that its biological, physical and cultural resources are at risk and may face severe damage if current economic destructive activities will be unabated.

-SB No. 2277 declaring 2 parcels of land within Sicogon Island, Carles, Iloilo, a wildlife sanctuary to be called Sicogon Island Wildlife Sanctuary. Its interesting biodiversity calls a need to declare the 282.867 hectares remaining forest land of the island a protected area.

-SB No. 2278 declaring a parcel of lot in Balbalan, Kalinga, a protected landscape to be called Banao Protected Landscape. Dubbed as the "green heart" of the Cordillera, the park, known as the Balbasang-Babalan National Park, it is a rich biodiversity and landscape of the Cordillera mountain region with some of the most intact pine foress and rich endemic flora and fauna.

-Senate Bill No. 2279 declaring a parcel of land in the municipalities of Gregorio del Pilar, Quirino, Sigay, Cervantes, and Suyo, Ilocos Sur a protecred landscape. The Tirad Pass Narional Park in Ilocos Sur is the only remaining mosh forest in the region, showcasing a rich terrestial ecosystem.

-Senate Bill No. 2280 declaring a parcel of land in Kabayan, Bokod and Buguias, all in Benguet; Tinoci, Ifugao and Kayapa, Nueva Vizcaya, a protected landscape. Mt. Pulag National Park is the highest peak in Luzon and second highest mountain in the Philippines.

Its wildlife includes threatened mammals such as the Philippine Brown Deed, Northern Luzon Giant Coud Ratthe Luzon Pygmy Fruits bar.

NIPAS was established by virtue of RA No. 7586, as amended by RA No. 11038, known as the Expanded NIPAS Act of 2018.

News Latest News Feed