TUBA, Benguet October 14 – Mayor Florencio Bentres ordered the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to stop the illegal earthmoving and business activities that have alleged started to flourish within portions of the Mount Sto. Tomas forest reservation.
The local chief executive admitted reports have reached him that there were some residents in the area that have started doing earthmoving activities to flatten a portion of the reservation leading to the La Presa area while some of them allegedly started doing business activities which are all contrary to the writ of kalikasan issued against any improvements to be done within the wat6ershed.
“We have to be alert on whatever prohibited activities that are being done in the area for us to be able to comply with the writ of kalikasan outlined by the Court of Appeals (CA) for the purpose. We have to perform our mandate as detailed in the writ so that we will not be penalized by the court,” Bentres stressed.
He revealed some individuals started doing earthmoving activities to improve the road leading to La Presa and flatten a portion of the same which might be rented out as parking areas once the activities were not immediately stopped.
According to him, the DENR and PNP personnel must do their assigned tasks of making sure that there will be no earthmoving and business activities that would be done within the place pursuant to the writ of kalikasan to prevent them from being imposed the necessary penalties for their failure to do what have been instructed them to perform in order to continue preserving and protecting the forest reservation.
Bentres expressed his gratitude to the concerned citizens in the area who continue to provide the local officials with the necessary information on the activities being done by other people in the forest reservation so that concerned agencies and local governments could be able to act on the matter before it will be too late.
He said the concerned personnel of the local government continue to impose stringent regulations in ensuring that the entry of visitors to La Presa will be regulated to prevent the occurrence of overcrowding in the place similar to what happened at the height of the filming of a television series in the forest reservation.
Bentres cited visitors wanting to visit La Presa are also cooperative in the stringent rules being imposed in the regulation of entry of people to the forest reservation to prevent the deterioration of the area and allow the implementation of a forest land use and management plan for the place within the coming months.