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The management of Cleopatra’s Needle Critical Habitat (CNCH) is set to regulate research and other activities within the area in a bid to protect and conserve the natural environment, the wildlife, and its habitat, and provide safeguards to the local communities especially the indigenous peoples in the city’s highest peak and a newly-declared critical habitat.
The interim management committee adopted a new resolution that required the 90-day submission of a research proposal prior to the start of the research activity in the areas covering the barangays of San Rafael, Tanabag, Langogan, Binduyan, Concepcion, New Panggangan and Tagabinet.
The prescribed period will give ample time to the management and the technical working group to review and re-assess the intended proposal for the benefit of the stakeholders.
Atty. Carlo B. Gomez, City Environment and Natural Resources Officer, said that the Letter of Intent (LOI) to City Mayor Lucilo R. Bayron of any research proposal and related activities within the CNCH should be submitted 90 days before the activity, otherwise, it will be outrightly denied.
He said that the research proposal will be thoroughly evaluated, specifically its impact, cost and benefit to the communities within the CNCH.
For the research activity, they limit it on the study of CNCH baseline data and other important researches that are significant to its protection and conservation and have a meaningful impact on the local communities.
Since the intention of the management committee is to increase the baseline data of its flora and fauna, they may not prefer researches that require specimen collection as of the moment.
Atty. Gomez said that there should be a population count first before they will allow any specimen collection. “Pinapayagan natin ang mga study sa pag-update lang kung ano ang meron sa loob. Unlike sa specimen collection, wala pa nga tayong baseline data sa specimen. Baka ito nalang ang huling lahi ng mga hayop na yan, tapos kinukuha pa,” he explained.
He further said that during yesterday’s meeting of CNCH Interim Management Board they deliberated and approved the adoption of policies of Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (PPSRNP)-Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) as temporary CNCH guidelines.
“This is to apply for the meantime for the purpose of regulating the activities within CNCH, the existing policies, revenue measures of PPUR as long as it is beneficial, useful, not contrary to the vision of CNCH, and not contrary to law,” he explained.
He said that proceeds of the payment from fees and other income derived from different activities will be remitted to the City Government through the City Treasurer’s Office (CTO), and the funds will be deposited through a special account which shall be utilized exclusively for the use and disposition of the CNCH.
Atty. Gomez emphasized that the communities within the CNCH should benefit from the proceeds of these activities.
“Maganda makapag-proceed sa Management Plan para magkaroon ng expenditure guidelines. Obligasyon natin na dapat may benepisyo sa lahat ng sakop na barangay,” he further said.
City Mayor Lucilo R. Bayron, last year, signed an executive order forming an Interim Management Committee and a Technical Working Group of CNCH, composed of the different government agencies including the City Government of Puerto Princesa, Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), representatives from the seven barangays within CNCH, non-government and people’s organizations, indigenous cultural communities within the area, and stakeholders.