Yes, indeed. Who is afraid of the DENR Administrative Order (DAO) declaring the uplifted coast of Maribojoc and Loon as geological monument?Apparently by the way they stormed the media to airtheir protest, Mayors Evasco of Maribojoc and Lopez of Loon are dead worried if not afraid. They complained of lack of consultation on the part of DENR before the Department Administrative Order was issued.
Technically they were right. DENR should have consulted them, or at the least forewarned them of the impending administrative order in order not to surprise them. However there is really nothing to fear or complain about the DAO because a DAO has no permanent effect unlike when it is a PresidentialProclamationthatdid it or a Congressional action in which case the proclamation or Republic Act becomes a law. A PresidentialProclamation is an exercise of the President’s quasi-legislative powers.
I believe PENRO Nestor Canda has sufficiently explained that the department order was only a policy statement that puts into motion the processes that will lead up to a Presidential Proclamation or a law to be passed by Congress.
Without the department administrative order there is no basis for DENR to act on what to do with the geological phenomenon triggered by the magnitude 7.2 earthquake that hit Bohol on October 15, 2013. In its absence anything can happen to this wonder of nature. Knowingthe capacity if business minded people to make money out of anything and everything, that portion of the uplifted coast of Maribojoc and Loon will be imperilled without the DAO. Even the local governments of Maribojoc and Loon can only dolittle to safeguard and protect and preserve that area without basis. The DAO provides the framework r its protection.
With the DAO, DENR can now listen to all the proposal by any sector on how to make of the uplifted area whether the same will be classified into alienable and disposable (A&D), timberland, mineral,or just a park. Any of these classifications has a manner of safeguarding and protecting. But whatever it is, itmust benefit both the environment and the people. And both the DENR and the LGUs have responsibilities to ensure that they remain so.
When the consultations and studies are over, it will be a choice on whether to put it under PresidentialProclamation or under an Act of Congress. Anyway Congressman Rene Relampagos has already filed a Bill at the House of Representatives to declare that uplifted area a National Geological Monument.
Hence the complaining should now stop and let the studies and consultations begin. And since we are at it, that 10-meter uplift of a portion of a slope in AnonangInabanga should also be part of the study even if there is no DAO on it yet by DENR.
NOTES. The forum conducted by a group of non-government organizations (NGOs) and other groups on the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) was actually a lobby for its passage and no longer a consultations as people first thought of when news of it was earlier announced. It was a last ditch effort to ram the proposed law on the lawmakers. No matter the sales pitch, thefact remains that there are provisions of the proposed BBL that needs further and careful study and consideration. Malacanang should not have made promises for its passage by June 11, 2015.
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