The Protected Area Management Board Resource Management Committee has not recommended the entry of the Energy Development Corp. into Mt. Mandalagan in the Northern Negros Natural Park for a geoscientific study, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Andrei Untal said yesterday.
Green Alert Negros, together with the Social Action Centers of the Dioceses of Bacolod, Dumaguete, Kabankalan and San Carlos said in a press release that it recently urged Jonas Leones, Undersecretary for Environment and International Environment Affairs and concurrent OIC of the DENR Environment Management Bureau, to cancel the Environmental Compliance Certificate or any permit of EDC for conducting operations and energy enterprise inside the natural park within 15 days from receipt of its official complaint, or else the group will resort to the office of the President.
On May 11, Green Alert Negros sent a letter to DENR-EMB requesting it to cancel the environment compliance certificate of EDC for its Northern Negros Geothermal Project and of roads and a bridge in Barangay Lantawan and Patag, Silay City, the press release said.
A letter to DENR-EMB through a group of Negrense laywers led by Ryan Montoro, head legal counsel for Green Alert and the 4 Social Action Dioceses, said that the official reply of DENR-EMB to the request of Green Alert to “is not responsive and definitive being the lead executing agency or R.A No. 7586 or National Integrated Protected Areas System Act of 1992 ”.
Montoro added that Mt. Kanla-on is a “Natural Park” and is classified as strict Nature Reserve” as defined by law and Mt. Marapara (Brgy. Patag and Lantawan) in Silay City is also part of the NNNP and considered as a wildlife sanctuary. Both mountain ranges is designated as Protected Area pursuant to R.A. No. 7586.
The legal counsel of Green Alert also said that it is apparent that EDC is prohibited by law to explore energy resources in Mt. Kanla-on Natural Park under section 14 of Republic Act No. 7586. To reiterate, Natural Parks and Strict Nature Reserve are not subjected for survey on energy resources.
The letter was also signed by Randy James Rojo, Coordinator of Green Alert Negros, Fr. Ernie Larida - Bacolod Social Action Center director, Fr. Burton Villarmente - Dumaguete Social Action Director, Fr. Eryl Agus- Kabankalan Social Action Director and Fr. Dionisio Nacario Jr.- San Carlos Social Action Director.
A copy of the letter was furnished Environment Secretary Gina Lopez, a member of the Lopez family that owns the Energy Development Corporation.*
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