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Top tourist destination closed; LGU calls on DENR to revoke MOA entered with private firm

March 13, 2023 People's Journal 1167 views
A TOP tourist destination in Nueva Ecija was ordered closed by local officials for allegedly violating various environmental laws, and called on the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to revoke its agreement entered with a private firm that operates the Minalungao National Park.
In a three-page appeal addressed to the DENR, General Tinio Municipal Mayor Isidro Pajarillaga said the corporation which operates the Minalungao National park allegedly has no business permits, including building and occupancy permits.
The local official also cited that several natural rock formations inside the park were removed to give way for infrastructure projects, which clearly destroyed protected areas inside the Minalungao national park situated in General Tinio, Nueva Ecija, a popular tourist spot in Central Luzon.
In 2003, the DENR, represented by Protected Area management Board (PAMB) chairman and Regional Executive director Regidor De Leon executed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with a corporation official to preserve, develop, operate and manage the recreational park for 25 years.
“However, with the agreement, the corporation immediately initiated infrastructure projects within the tourist spot, constructing hotel, view decks, pathways and other buildings that were not coordinated with the local officials of General Tinio,” the letter stated.
“Because of its proximity to the National Capital Region and unique landscape it became a haven for travelers who want to enjoy the stunning beauty of nature. Minalungao National Park is a three to four hours drive from Manila and it’s a cheap destination for a summer getaway,” the LGU said.
Meanwhile, DENR officer Artemio Almazar said it will review the MOA and assured the local officials of General Tinio that it will look into its concern that environmental compliance was followed.