Arroyo stops constructions in Banawe rice terraces area

BAGUIO CITY -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ordered the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the local government of Banawe to restrict the construction of houses and other structures that block the view of the world famous Banawe rice terraces. 

The President issued the directive during her weekend visit to the majestic rice terraces, one of the country's top tourist attractions.

She expressed alarm over the increasing number of houses being built by informal settlers in the area, saying that left unchecked the construction activity will soon block the view of the terraces. 

"I visited the area to make sure that the tourism program there will be sustainable," the President said. 

During her Banawe visit, the President noticed that the number of houses in the area had doubled, according to Regional Director Purificacion Molintas of the Department of Tourism for the Cordillera Autonomous Region. 

The Chief Executive said unless stopped, the informal settlers will continue building houses "until the view of the majestic terraces are completely blocked from sight." 

She said she will issue a proclamation establishing a resettlement site for informal settlers to keep them out of the Banawe rice terraces area. 

"The local government, DENR, represented by Secretary Mike Defensor, and I agreed that we will provide, by presidential proclamation, a resettlement site to be identified by the mayor of Banawe in order to prevent the blocking of the view of the beautiful rice terraces," the President said. 

Aside from the Banawe rice terraces, the President also visited the rice terraces in Batad, Kabayan and Honduan. 

(PNA)

02/01/2006

Bron : Sun Star Online

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