In its continuous campaign to free the region’s protected areas of illegal structures and occupants, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 6 and the Community ENR Office of Cadiz City in Negros Occidental has issued a Notice of Violation (NOV) and stoppage of an illegal construction within Northern Negros Natural Park (NNNP), located at So. Pakol, Brgy. Celestino Villacin, Cadiz City.

The structure is a two storey concrete house with 20 feet x 30 feet in dimension. It is owned by a certain Florante Halipa while the lot claimant is Mr. Francisco Villanueva. With the structure situated within the jurisdiction of NNNP-Multiple Use Zone (MUZ), a Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) Clearance or Permit from the DENR-Protected Area Superintendent (PASu) Office was required and should have been obtained prior to the construction.

Without the required legal documents, the team of CENRO Cadiz immediately installed Notice of Violation (NOV) signage which stated: No Building Permit, No SAPA, No ECC and No PAMB Clearance or Permit from the NNNP PASu office.

NNNP is located at the northwestern part of Negros Island within the Province of Negros Occidental and is home to the threatened and endangered endemic species such as the Negros bleeding heart dove, Visayan warty pig, Visayan spotted deer, and Red lauan.

Section 18 of Republic Act 11038 or the Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas System Act states that it is unlawful for any person to occupy or dwell in any public land within the protected area without clearance from the PAMB and could warrant a fine of P200,000 to 1P million and/or imprisonment of one to six years.

“By the name itself, protected areas should be protected. We at the DENR always remind the public that it is important to protect and conserve our precious natural resources. By doing so, we work hard towards the attainment of sustainable development for all,” DENR 6 Regional Executive Director Livino B. Duran said.

Encroachment of forestlands in NNNP is continuously addressed and monitored by the Environment Department as it installed public notices and signages in strategic locations across the protected area to deter them from selling and buying forestland areas. /DENR 6