Keeping true to their words on kickstarting a unified front in the administration and management of Mount Apo Natural Park (MANP), DENR Regions XI and XII, led by its respective Regional Executive Directors Bagani Fidel A. Evasco (R-XI) and Atty. Felix S. Alicer (R-XII) jointly guided the MANP North Cotabato Sub-PAMB Meeting held at Kidapawan City on June 15, 2023, during which pertinent discussions on the management of the protected area in Cotabato side were reviewed.
The management of the national park is under the care of its Protected Area Management Board (PAMB). But being a uniquely large protected area covering a total of 64, 053.00 hectares and straddling said two neighboring regions, MANP’s sheer size pushed its PAMB to create Sub-PAMBs—smaller but major committees of the protected area within the jurisdictions of Davao City, Davao del Sur and the North Cotabato Sub-PAMBs, all of which convene for coordination and harmonization through the En banc meeting with the RED of Region XI heading the over-all PAMB for all sides.
Director Evasco, during meeting, commits himself in setting premium on the decisions of the Sub-PAMB and aid in directing said decisions towards what is pursuant under the law, working hand-in-hand with Director Alicer in overseeing the administration of the Highest Peak of the Philippines. The latter Director likewise sets store on the said commitment.
Stakeholders of MANP in North Cotabato were also oriented with the aspiration for the inscription of the natural park as a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Global Geopark (UGGp), conducted by UGGp Nomination Team member FT 1 Cylle Marie S. Nadonza-Cleofe of DENR XI.
The Davao del Sur Sub-PAMB has already given full support and declared Mount Apo as a local geopark in 2022 through the passage of PAMB resolutions and is aimed to be adapted to all straddled local government units in the protected area to fortify means of verification for support of the communities surrounding the aspiring UGGp. Director Evasco has also started leg-working support from the Davao City side of MANP.
Also present and supportive of the notion were Hon. Jose Paolo M. Evangelista, City Mayor of Kidapawan, the PENR Officers of Davao del Sur and North Cotabato, Dr. Alberto N. Bandiola and Mr. Renato C. Domingo and OIC-Protected Area Superintendent (PASu) Archelito L. Mallari and Deputy PASu Shirley Uy for Davao Region and North Cotabato. | 𝑪𝒚𝒍𝒍𝒆 𝑴𝒂𝒓𝒊𝒆 𝑺. 𝑵𝒂𝒅𝒐𝒏𝒛𝒂-𝑪𝒍𝒆𝒐𝒇𝒆, 𝑫𝑬𝑵𝑹 𝑿𝑰