The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) lifts the suspension on the issuance of special use agreement for protected areas (SAPA) after a seven-year ban.
In a statement released on Friday, May 4, Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy A. Cimatu had recently issued a memorandum to resume the enforcement of the implementing rules and regulations for the issuance of the tenural instrument for protected areas (PA).
“Now that the suspension has been lifted, the DENR can guarantee that individuals, groups and companies can once again apply for the special use of the PAs,” he added.
According to the Republic Act No. 7586, the SAPA is a tenurial instrument issued to convert PAs for productive uses, but will still be classified as a PA.
DENR said that this helps reduce the national subsidy needed for the maintenance of PAs, given that these would be generating revenues.
“SAPA also serves as a regulatory tool for increased resource use beyond carrying capacity and increasing local economic opportunities, such as increased local employment from ecotourism establishments,” Mr. Cimatu said.
The DENR issued the ban on issuing tenurial instruments due to not having a standard development fee for applicants.
With the lifted ban, Biodiversity Management Bureau Director Crisanta Marlene Rodriguez said that the development fees will be based on the fix percentage of the zonal value of the land and its improvements, as well as the zonal value of the closest commercial zone.
Ms. Rodriguez also said that applicants will have to pay the fee within 30 days of application.
“Failure to pay within the prescribed period shall be subject to surcharges of 8.33% monthly for the late payment or 100% for one year,” she said. — Anna Gabriela M. Mogato