Press Release
April 19, 2006

'Fitting gift' on Earth Day, April 22:

The Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources chaired by Senator Pia S. Cayetano approved recently two local bills seeking to designate protected areas in the Ilocos Region.

Approved without amendments, House Bill No. 4305 and House Bill No. 4420 declare the Agoo-Damortis seascape and landscape in the province of La Union, and the Lidlidda-Banayoyo landscape in Ilocos Sur, respectively, as protected areas.

Cayetano described the approval of the measures as a "fitting gift" to the people of the region this coming Earth Day, April 22.

HB No.4305 authored by Rep. Tomas Dumpit (2D, La Union) and HB No.4420 by Rep. Eric Singson (2D, Ilocos Sur) were previously approved at the House of Representatives by the Committee on Natural Resources chaired by Rep. Leovigildo Banaag.

The Agoo-Damortis protected seascape and landscape covers 19 barangays in the towns of Agoo, Sto.Tomas and Rosario in La Union. The area is made up of forests, wetlands and shorelines and is home to several bird, fish and plant species.

The Lidlidda-Banayoyo landscape is composed of 1,157 hectares of forestlands covering several barangays in the municipalities of Lidlidda and Banayoyo in Ilocos Sur.

Under the bills, the protected areas will be managed by a local Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) to be composed of representatives from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, local government units, concerned communities and non-government organizations.

Hunting of animals, taking of plants, mineral exploration and logging activities without permission from the PAMB will be prohibited under the proposed measures. Other prohibited acts include the dumping of wastes and occupation of lands.

For years, dynamite use, quarrying, domestic and commercial pollution, and siltation have endangered marine ecological balance along the shorelines of Brgy. Damortis in Sto. Tomas town and Brgy. Rabon in Rosario town. On the other hand, fish cages contributed to the accumulation of organic wastes and have threatened the survival of endemic marine species in the area.

Cayetano said the immediate enactment of the bills will save the region's last remaining natural sanctuaries through the efforts of local government leaders together with community residents, business establishments and other stakeholders.

News Latest News Feed