Legarda hails Senate OK of protected areas bill

July 30, 2015

The Senate on Wednesday approved on third and final reading a bill that will strengthen the conservation of 97 protected areas in the country.

Sen. Loren Legarda hailed the passage of the Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas System Act of 2015 (Enipas), of which she was the principal sponsor in 2013.
“We are a step closer to the finish line. Through this measure, local communities and stakeholders will be able to do more to participate in the management and protection of our forests, oceans, flora, fauna and the indigenous peoples that reside in these sanctuaries,” Legarda said in a statement.

Committee level
The House version is still at the committee level but may be sponsored on the floor by next week, according to Legarda’s office, the measure.
Legarda said the enactment of the measure would “enhance conservation efforts for unique, rare and threatened species of plants and animals and their habit, thus ensuring the sustainable use of our natural resources and cultural diversity.”

Just the beginning
There are 113 areas in the country that have been declared as protected areas but only 13 have so far been legislated as such under Republic Act 7586, or the National Integrated Protected Areas Systems, which was passed in 1992.
“The passage of the Enipas in the Senate is just the beginning,” Legarda said, adding that she was waiting for the House to pass it and the eventual signing into law by President Aquino.

Source: Inquirer