Proclaim Mt. Inawayan range as protected area

In the meeting Tuesday of the RDC’s Economic Development Committee, Malou Clarete, chief of DENR’s Protected Areas and Wildlife Division, said the council’s endorsement would make Mount Inayawan the first protected area in Lanao del Norte.

Clarete said the Municipal Council of Nunungan had endorsed the proposal through SB Resolution No. 20-2006. The Provincial Board, she added, also expressed its support through SP Resolution No. 137-2006.

She said an Initial Protected Area Plan had been drafted for the proposed park.

Under the National Integrated Protected Areas System Act (Republic Act 7586) the IPAP is one of the bases for the President to proclaim the site as a protected area. The plan also provides measures for protection until such time that Congress shall have enacted a law declaring the area as part of the Nipas.

The Nipas encompasses “remarkable areas and biologically important public lands that are habitats of rare and endangered species of flora and fauna and or important life support systems for biological diversity management and sustainable development.”

The proposed park has an area of 5,926 hectares. It covers the barangays of Iniaon, Pantar, Karkum, Taraka, Canibungan, Caluda, Mangun, Rarab, Sungod, Malaig and Cabasaran.

Mount Inayawan was part of the concession site awarded to Findlay Miller Timber Company whose license had been suspended, Clarete said.

The company, however, excluded the area from its logging operations, she said.

The Philippines has at least 200 national parks and protected areas. But most of these sites are virtually unprotected owing to lack of funds for personnel and operations. (H. Marcos C. Mordeno/MindaNews)