House declares Mayon, Zambo parks protected areas

Mayon Volcano Natural Park in Albay province and the Pasonanca Natural Park in Zamboanga City are now protected areas under two bills approved by the House of Representatives.

House Bill (HB) No. 6394 and HB 6449 declare it the policy of the State to ensure the protection and conservation of the Mayon Park and Pasonanca Park, respectively, to preserve its biodiversity, the uniqueness of its landscape, and its socio-cultural and economic significance to the people of Albay.

The Mayon Volcano Natural Park is located in the Cities of Tabaco, Legazpi and Ligao and in the Municipalities of Malilipot, Sto. Domingo, Daraga, Camalig, and Guinobatan in Albay. The Pasonanca Natural Park is located in Zamboanga City and covers a total area of 10,102.08 hectares.

Both bills designate the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) as administrator of the parks and prohibit hunting, collecting, catching, wounding, killing, destroying or possessing within the park or its buffer zone species of plants or animals or their by-products or derivatives, or transporting of these plants and animal species without prior approval of the PAMB.

The bills also prohibit vandalism such as mutilating, transporting, destroying, excavating or in any manner damaging any natural formation or object of natural beauty inside the said parks, including the removal, destruction and alteration of boundary markers and signs.
Further, the bills require clearance and permits for bioprospecting in the two parks to be obtained from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and PAMB.