Talisay mayor asks contractor to halt road clearing in Northern Negros Natural Park
BACOLOD CITY –– Talisay Mayor Neil Lizares has asked a contractor to suspend the road clearing work within the Northern Negros Natural Park in Sitio Campuestohan, Talisay City (NNNP).
Lizares, in a letter, requested contractor Jerry Sy to suspend his activities in the area until they could come to an environmentally favorable agreement.
“The City of Talisay has always been passionate in its pursuit to conserve, manage and protect its environment and natural resources for the benefit of its constituents and the future generations,” the mayor said.
Lizares said it had come to their attention that clearing operations were underway for a road.
“These activities can result in the destruction of trees in the area which the city government avoids. It came to our attention that said activities were under your management and directives,” Lizares told Sy.
Talisay Administrator Jonathan Ealdama said the City government was not informed of the project of Sy in the area.
Sy, for his part, said they only cleared an existing road and that no trees were destroyed.
He is helping residents start a livelihood project in the area that has been approved by the Protected Area Management Board, and has a permit from the barangay.
Sy said he would finance the livelihood project of the residents. This would include planting flowers and vegetables.
He denied that he is building a resort in the area.
Roderick Samonte, director for external affairs at the Carlos Hilado Memorial State College in Talisay City, said on Saturday, International Biodiversity Day, he had gone to the NNNP through Sitio Campuestohan and saw the road construction.
“This is outraging because part of the government regulation and reminders for mountaineers in the Protected Area as indicated in the huge billboard installed by DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) is the strict prohibition to create a new trail, among several other provisions to protect and respect NNNP,” he said.
“But why is there road construction? This is way more than a hiker’s trail. And the current construction is to my estimate not even one-fourth yet of the target,” Samonte said.
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