A lawmaker in Albay has filed a bill seeking the declaration of Mt. Masaraga in Ligao City, Albay as a protected area.
Albay 3rd District Representative Fernando Cabredo said the proposed measure entitled “Mt. Masaraga Protected Landscape (MMPL) Act of 2021” aims to provide funds for the mountain’s forest management operations.
“Mt. Masaraga is home to diverse species of flora and fauna and a critical watershed for the Bicol River Basin.”
Local environmentalists said the 1,328-meter (4,357 feet) high Mt. Masaraga is home to diverse species of flora and fauna and a critical watershed for the Bicol River Basin.
“Rafflesia,” considered as the world’s largest flower, can be found in this mountain, according to records of the City Environment and Natural Resources Office.
Cabredo, who is an environmental advocate, said “the protection and conservation of forests and mountains would greatly benefit the future generation”.
“Designating Mt. Masaraga as a protected landscape area would preserve its beauty and protect it from future exploitations and devastations.”
“Designating Mt. Masaraga as a protected landscape area would preserve its beauty and protect it from future exploitations and devastations through ‘kaingin’ or the slash and burn farming method, illegal cutting of trees, hunting, and irresponsible trekking,” he said.
“Under the bill, the city government and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) would have a shared responsibility in preserving the pristine condition of the mountain,” Cabredo added.
The proposed MMPL would also establish a Protected Area Management Office, which shall supervise the day-to-day management, protection, and administration of the Mt. Masaraga protected area.
The proposed act has wider coverage than the existing Mt. Masaraga Watershed Forest Reserve, whose main objective is to maintain its usefulness as a source of water for irrigation and domestic use, and for other forestry purposes.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) lists the forested and sharp-topped mountain as an inactive volcano. It is also located close to the cone-shaped Mayon Volcano.
Tectonically, Mt. Masaraga is part of Bicol’s chain of volcanoes and of the so-called “Pacific Ring of Fire”.Share this article: