Deferred BuCor HQ plan in Masungi sparks hope it will be ‘scrapped altogether’
MANILA, Philippines — The private caretaker of the Masungi Georeserve in Rizal province has renewed hopes that the plan to build a new Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) headquarters within the protected area will be “scrapped altogether.”
The Masungi Georeserve Foundation (MGF) made the statement on Thursday because of BuCor Director General Gregorio Catapang Jr. announced the deferral of the development plan during a Senate tourism panel hearing on Tuesday, March 7.
“Knowing the potential environmental impacts of the plan, we are hopeful that the project will be scrapped altogether,” it said in a statement.
The MGF then urged Environment Secretary Ma. Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga to draw up a meeting with the Masungi Geopark Project’s oversight committee to resolve conflicts hounding the site and to ward off future problems from arising.
“We must all be aligned with the long-term vision for Masungi that has been painstakingly built over the last 25 years. As scientists, environmental planners and citizens have all said: Let us keep Masungi a sanctuary for our unique geological heritage and threatened wildlife,” it added.
The foundation remained upbeat in continuing to work with the Senate as the chamber “exercises oversight over matters affecting our people’s right to a healthful ecology.”
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The Masungi Georeserve, a 300-hectare landscape in the Sierra Madre Mountain Range, has been conserved and rehabilitated by the MGF since the 2000s.
It was declared a protected area in 2011, but conflicts existed before that since private settlements and establishments had already been at the site.