Duterte signs expanded Protected Area Law
President Rodrigo Duterte already signed the expanded National Integrated Protected Area Systems (ENIPAS) Act of 2018, which provides a national legislation for all protected areas to ensure their ecological integrity.
Furthermore, the law adopts strong amendatory measures to the 24-year old National Integrated Protected Area Systems (NIPAS) Act.
“We laud the timely passage of the ENIPAS Act, as it will enhance the conservation efforts undertaken of our unique but vastly threatened biodiversity and ecosystems including our marine habitats,” said Gloria Estenzo Ramos, Vice President for Oceana Philippines.
“As the ‘center of the center’ of marine biodiversity in the world, it is high time that our biologically significant protected areas be given the highest priority and protection they deserve, to ensure that our national treasures continue to sustain the current and the future generations of Filipinos,” she added.
ENIPAS ACT adds more than 100 legislated protected areas in the Philippines, including the Philippine Rise Marine Resource Reserve.
Salient provisions of the Act include the provision for scientific and technical support for biodiversity conservation; delineation and demarcation of boundaries; deputation of support especially on enforcement to the Protected Area Superintendent (PASu); and regular reporting on the status of the Integrated Protected Area Fund (IPAF) and allocating 75 percent of all revenues raised to the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB).
It also prohibits the use and possession of destructive fishing gears within the protected seascape.