Republic of the Philippines
PALAWAN COUNCIL FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
(R.A. 7611)
Puerto Princesa City, Palawan

PCSD RESOLUTION NO. 03-210

RESOLUTION COMMENDING THE PCSD STAFF FOR TAKING IMMEDIATE ACTION IN ADDRESSING ISSUES PERTAINING TO THE 1,700 HECTARES LAND DISTRIBUTION PROJECT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM IN BGY. INAGAWAN, PUERTO PRINCESA CITY

WHEREAS, R.A. 7611, otherwise known as the Strategic Environmental Plan (SEP) for Palawan, took effect on 19 June 1992 and Section 16 of said Act provides that the governance, implementation and policy direction of the SEP shall be exercised by the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD), under the Office of the President;

WHEREAS, Sections 4 and 6 of R.A. 7611 states that the Startegic Environmental Plan (SEP) for Palawan ”shall serve to guide the local government of Palawan and the national agencies concerned in the formulation and implementation of plans, programs and projects affecting the province”, and that “all local governments in Palawan and the concerned national and regional government agencies operating therein shall coordinate and align their projects and corresponding budgets with the projects, programs and policies of the SEP”, as administered by the PCSD;

WHEREAS, Section 5 of R.A. 7611 provides that the general philosophy of the SEP is the sustainable development of Palawan “which is the improvement of the quality of life of its people in the present and future generations through the use of complementary activities of development and conservation that protect life support ecosystems and rehabilitate exploited areas to allow upcoming generations to sustain development growth;

WHEREAS, Sections 7-11 of the said Act provides for the establishment of an Environmentally Critical Areas Network (ECAN), the main strategy of SEP which is a graded system of protection and development control over the whole of Palawan, including its tribal lands, forests, mines, agricultural areas, settlement areas, small islands, mangroves, coral reefs, sea grass beds and the surrounding sea;

WHEREAS, Section 1 of PCSD Admin. Order No. 6 dated February 25, 2000 provides that all projects and undertakings to be implemented in Palawan have to secure PCSD Clearance;

WHEREAS, the Inagawan Irrigators’ Association of Barangay Inagawan and the Environmental Legal Assistance Center (ELAC) sought the assistance of PCSD to stop the encroachment of squatters within the watershed area and the massive cutting of Acacia trees in the area adjacent to the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) land distribution project covering a total area of 1,700 hectares in Bgy. Inagawan, Puerto Princesa City;

WHEREAS, Bgy. Inagawan is by nature a low lying barangay and with the encroachment of the squatters and the massive cutting of Acacia trees in the area, Inagawan is in danger of having flash floods during rainy seasons;

WHEREAS, the MOA between the DAR and DOJ clearly states that only the retirees of the colony and inmates shall be entitled to be recipients of the project;

WHEREAS, the Bgy. Officials and communities of Bgy. Inagawan are vehemently opposing the project and they would like to preserve the area;

WHEREAS, the DAR is implementing the above cited project on the basis of CARP law, thus, with the implementation of the SEP law in Palawan, DAR is not exempted from seeking PCSD Clearance prior to the implementation of its project;

WHEREAS, the PCSD Staff as requested by Congressman Abraham B. Mitra initiated a meeting among the PCSD Staff, representative of Cong. Mitra, City ENRO, Barangay Officials and stakeholders of Barangay Inagawan, ELAC, CENRO, NCIP, and DAR to look for ways of cooperation in resolving the issue;

WHEREAS, with the immediate action undertaken by the PCSD Staff spearheaded by Exec. Dir. Winston G. Arzaga and Project Operations Director Josephine S. Matulac the screening and processing of applications for the said land distribution was ceased pending the compliance of DAR with PCSD Admin. Order No. 6 and the DOJ’s updated legal opinion on the contested area;

WHEREAS, the initial ECAN evaluation of the PCSD Staff revealed that of the 1,700 hectares set for distribution, substantial areas fall under core and restricted zones and about 494 hectares fall outside the quadrant covered by the DAR-DOJ agreement, thus implying the said area still belongs to the Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm;

WHEREAS, the timely action taken by the PCSD Staff restricted further entry of squatters in the area;

NOW THEREFORE, upon motion by Rep. Abraham B. Mitra, duly seconded by all the members of the Council present;

RESOLVED, as it is hereby resolved, that the Council expresses its commendation to the PCSD Staff for the expeditious action on the above-mentioned problem.

APPROVED AND ADOPTED this 29th of May, 2003 in Quezon City.

Certified True and Correct


WINSTON G. ARZAGA

Secretary
APPROVED:

REP.VICENTE A. SANDOVAL
Chairman