Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Create Subic-Bataan Natural Park – solon

By. Mar Supnad – Manila Bulletin

Alarmed by the massive destruction of Bataan and Subic forests, a lady lawmaker has filled a bill in the Lower House seeking the immediate establishment of the Bataan Natural Park and the Subic Watershed Forest Reserve to protect the “natural, biological and physical diversities of the environment in these areas.”

Rep. Herminia B. Roman, 1st Bataan, said in her explanatory note in House Bill Number 4137, that her bill “seeks to establish the Bataan Natural Park and the Subic Watershed Forest Reserve, a portion of the Subic Bay Special Economic Zone and Zambales as protected area under the category of a natural park.” Roman, wife of three-termer congressman Tony Roman, cited that “Philippines is one of the top 25 biodiversity hotspots in the world which houses a high percentage of endemic plants and animals threatened by extinction.”

To be covered by the proposed measure are the municipalities of Hermosa, Orani, Samal, Abucay, Morong and Bagac in Bataan and parts of the Subic Bay Ecozone and Zambales.

Seventy percent of the land areas of Subic Bay Ecozone belongs to the province of Bataan, said Roman.

Roman said the “protection and conservation of the Subic-Bataan Natural Park shall be pursued through sustainable and participatory development by advancing and protecting the interests of its legitimate inhabitants in accordance with Republic Act No. 7586, otherwise known as National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS).

She said that one of the factors of extinction is the rapid population growth and the conversion of land to other uses for economic development.

The “development of vast virgin lands gives rise to the destruction of the habitats of wildlife. Natural resources have also been exploited as sources for food, timber, fuel and water.” As the country’s parks and wildlife sanctuaries slowly disappear, so does the diversity of plants and animal life,” she said.

“Tsunamis, floods, forest fires, earthquakes and other natural disasters are fierce wake up calls for all of us to protect and care for the treasures of nature. If the calls are not enough to convince people and government to take action, future generations will be left nothing,” Roman further said.

She pointed out that this is the most opportune time to pass a law that will secure for the Filipino people and generations the perpetual existence of all native plants and animals through the establishment of a protected area within the classification of a natural park in Bataan , Subc and Zambales.”

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