BuCor defers development plans in Masungi Georeserve
MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) is postponing its development plans that, which include the construction of a new headquarters in Masungi Georeserve, a publicly recognized protected area in Rizal.
BuCor chief Gregorio Catapang Jr. announced this Tuesday during the hearing of the Senate committee on tourism, which is looking into the alleged land-grabbing, illegal logging, and quarrying in Masungi Georeserve, as well as BuCor’s development plans in the area.
“Most importantly, the 270 hectares of land awarded to BuCor, pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 1158 as the site of the New Bilibid Prison, will no longer push through, including the plan to relocate its national headquarters to this site will be held in abeyance pending further studies to be undertaken, taking into consideration the impact on the environment with the construction of BuCor facilities in the area,” Catapang said.
“So, I’m just hoping that there will be an urban planner or environment planner that can help us,” he added.
Catapang assured the public that if studies show that developing the area is not worth it, they will finally shelve the idea.
He noted that the studies that will be conducted might last for six months to one year.
“If it’s not worth it, we’ll not pursue [it]. What I will do now if this [is] really not available or is not for us, we’ll just put also the forest rangers, we have also our agro-forest team, that can help conserve and strengthen the ecosystem in the area,” the BuCor chief said.
Catapang said he only knew about the property in the last two weeks.