Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. yesterday said he has ordered an investigation on the selling of lots within the Northern Negros Natural Park by illegal settlers living inside it, to private individuals.
Even the 700-hectare government reforestation area in Brgy. Bagong, Silang, Don Salvador Benedicto, Negros Occidental, that is located inside the NNNP, has not been spared by private individuals, who had purchased the rights from illegal settlers.
An Escalante businessman was among those identified to have bought rights to occupy a forestal area in Brgy. Bagong Silang, Don Salvador Benedicto.
Marañon said it is illegal to own property inside the park. Those who are there should be removed, he added.
The Bagong Silang Binhi Association, reported to the Provincial Environment Management Office, through its Task Force Ilahas, that they are now barred from the area by an Escalante businessman, who claims to have bought the rights to occupy the area from residents in the park, even without tenurial instruments.
The BSBA is a people’s organization contracted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and Energy Development Corporation to reforest and protect the 700-hectare area in Brgy. Bagong Silang, Don Salvador Benedicto.
Sunny Duran Antonio, its chairperson, and Kenneth Nicor, its project manager, told TFI investigators, who were accompanied by Bacolod CENRO forest rangers during a site inspection, that five areas of the 700-hectare Community-Based Forest Management Area they are planting with endemic trees, have already been encroached on by this businessman from Escalante.*GPB