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Bayanihan! OkSi Rep. Sato urges fellow lawmakers to ensure better implementation of ENIPAS Act

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Occidental Mindoro Rep. Josephine Ramirez Sato has urged her fellow lawmakers to be “more involved” in the implementation of the Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas System.

Sato delivered the keynote speaker during the Legislator’s Forum on the National Integrated Protected Area System Master Plan 2019-2030 and its Investment Program last September 10.

“We, the representatives of the people having very important protected areas within our respective districts, whether marine or terrestrial national parks, strict nature reserves, protected landscapes or seascapes, cannot simply watch idly by,” Sato said.

“Needless to say, it is high time for us to be more involved, to more actively participate, not just at the policy level, but equally important, at the financing side as well. We must all start to put, or actively influence to put, more money where our mouths are,” she added.

Sato was one of the principal authors of the Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas System of 2018.

“Hindi na po sapat na tayo’y naging aktibo noong binabalangkas natin ang batas, kailangan na nating isagad hanggang sa pakikialam na magkaroon ng pondo para sa wasto at epektibong pagpapatupad ng ENIPAS sa ating mga distrito,” the solon said.

“Let it be different this time. In the past, after we have passed a law, we sit back, relax and just watch the implementation. Now with ENIPAS, we shall make sure that it is implemented and implemented well,” she added.

The solon said that implementing the provisions of the E-NIPAS Act is an “enormous task and responsibility” and that the Environment department cannot do it alone.

“As you can probably imagine, this is an enormous task and responsibility that will require sufficient, effective, predictable and reliable funding and financing mechanism,” said Sato.

“This will definitely require a whole-of-government approach. Hindi ito kaya ng DENR lang, o ng Kongreso lang. Kailangan nating magtulungan. Kailangan nating balikan at isabuhay ang ‘Bayanihan’ para magtagumpay tayo dito,” she added.