Natural park within Mayon’s danger zone eyed
MANILA, Philippines – The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) said it is discussing the feasibility of developing a natural park or a “protected natural area” within Mayon volcano’s 6-kilometer radius permanent danger zone (PDZ).
OCD Undersecretary Ariel Nepomuceno, on Saturday, clarified that they have yet to draft a proposal, adding that they are still evaluating the situation in the area to determine whether or not the proposition is feasible.
Nepomuceno pointed out that the natural park project may serve as a “long-term solution to ease the burden” of both local and national governments amid the Mayon Volcano’s state of unrest because through this, settlements within the PDZ will be banned.
“Nakakapagod din talaga, tanggapin natin, na pag mag-eevacuate, [pa]kakainin natin sila, madi-disrupt yung pag-aaral nila. Madi-drain yung resources ng mga barangay, ng munisipyo, ng national government,” Nepomuceno said.
(It’s really tiring, let’s face it, that when we evacuate we still need to feed them. It will also disrupt their studies. The resources of barangays, the municipality, and the national government will be drained.)
“[T]he PDZ should have no structures or inhabitants in the first place,” Nepomuceno stressed.
Natural parks, as defined by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), are relatively large areas not materially altered by human activity and are maintained for scientific, educational, and recreational use.
Nepomuceno said that local government units (LGUs) affected by the volcano’s continuing unrest have also expressed their support for the development of a natural park and relocation of their residents.
“In fairness po dun sa LGUs, nung kausapin po namin yung ilang mayors dun, tanggap din nila yung problemang iyon,” Nepomuceno said.
(In fairness to the LGUs, when we talked to some of the mayors there, they also acknowledged that problem.)
“Kaya usapan namin na ipapa-research namin kung ano yung mga related legislations na naka-pending o baka meron na pwede nilang i-enforce,” he concluded.
(That’s why we discussed that we will research what related legislations are pending or maybe there is something that they can enforce.)