A Laguna solon said enough is enough over the continuous tirades of the provincial dad that started three weeks ago from the privilege speech at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan absurdly based on wrong premise on the provisions of Mts. Banahaw-San Cristobal Protected Landscape Act (HB 4299) which she co-sponsored at the Lower House.
In spite of the fact that Laguna Third District Congresswoman Maria Evita Arago knew she was the real object of the rampage by Board Member Katherine Agapay on said privilege speech, she (Arago) remained calm thinking that the board member would soon reconsider previous position over the matter to save face upon knowing it was otherwise.
On said privilege speech Agapay interpreted the word “Landscape” on HB 4299 as artificial landscaping process that would lead to conversion of said mountains to a golf course and eventual construction of cable car facilities to be financed by foreign investors.
The speech also alleged that HB 4299 was filed, read and referred to Committee on Rules, and the Committee Report submitted in just one day – June 10, 2008, which resulted to displacement of 50 families now settled in a private lot in San Pablo City.
There was no let up even though it was already clarified by Protected Area Management Board (PAMB), an office created under National Integrated Protected Area System Act of 1992 (NIPAS, RA 7586) to govern and supervise the two sites as protected area ably supplemented by Presidential Proclamation No. 411 in 2003 confirming Mts. Banahaw and San Cristobal as protected zones.
PAMB thru Protected Area Superintendent (PASu) Saludo Pangan and the principal author of the bill, Quezon Second District Congressman Proceso Alcala have denied earlier such thing as farce although they admitted to have issued notice to vacate the 31 illegal structures in the area.
Alcala said that the notices reached 15 illegal structures owners on November, 2008, and on the month of February this year PAMB returned to occupant restricted area wherein they discovered two abandoned structures which they eventually demolished. It was what they had accomplished so far and can not recall displacing 50 families as alleged.
Despite this clarificatory information Agapay remained naïve as she continuously airs her privilege speech at a local cable-tv channel in Laguna as if it profess the gospel truth on the issue, and at one time presented to the media the supposed to be 50 displaced families. They however admitted to be still staying at the area though.
Environmentalist is of the opinion that HB 4299 complimented by SB 2392 are landmark legislations that will surely preserve and conserve both mountains biodiversity and ecological importance. It was learned that the area began to show a new lease of life when PAMB enforced a ban on visitors and mountain climbers to said mountains. Flora and Fauna was restored, flowers started to bloom and water started flowing on its dried-up creeks.
These according to Arago were enough motivation for her to continue pushing for the bill and no amount of baseless accusations will hinder her commitment to this landmark legislation as it concern future generation.
Meanwhile Agapay has announced earlier her candidacy as congressman in Laguna’s Third District.