A government environment official has cited compelling reasons to urgently declare a mountain range in Sarangani province as a conservation area and protect it from encroachment and eventual destruction.
Executive Director Cornelio Ramirez, of the Environmental Conservation and Protection Center (ECPC) Sarangani, made the pitch after provincial lawmakers held public hearings late last week in the towns of Maitum, Kiamba, and Maasim, in drafting an ordinance declaring the Mount Busa mountain range as a local conservation area.
According to the proposed ordinance, a management council will assemble a technical working group that will help stakeholders formulate conservation measures in the mountain.
“It is a race against time because the flora and fauna resources in Mount Busa are vulnerable, irreplaceable, and are critically endangered species,” Ramirez said in a statement Monday.
Mount Busa, considered as the last frontier in Sarangani province, covers 107,275 hectares of verdant forests. It is also considered the western watershed in Mindanao.
The mountain range straddles the towns of Kiamba, Maitum and Maasim in Sarangani and Lake Sebu and T’boli in South Cotabato.
The Sarangani information office said the public hearings gave way for ECPC-Sarangani to raise awareness on why protecting Mount Busa should be of utmost priority.
Provincial board member Irish Louie Arnado, chairperson of the Committee on Natural Resources, Environmental Protection, and Energy, said the proposed ordinance would ensure “proper protection and conservation measures” from destructive human activities.
Ramirez said declaring Mount Busa as a conservation area “will add more teeth to our protection efforts and enforcement of various environmental laws.” (PNA)