Photo from Wild Expeditions Palawan Facebook Page

The City Environment and Natural Resources Office (City ENRO) is pushing for the inclusion of the city of Puerto Princesa in the inter-local government unit agreement on the management of the Victoria Anepahan Mountain Range (VAMR), initiated by the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PSCD).

Victoria-Anepahan is a 14,000-hectare mountain range spanning the towns of Quezon, Narra, Aborlan, and Puerto Princesa City.

It is considered a biodiversity hotspot with 41.18 percent endemism in terms of flora and fauna, and 31 percent of its species are of high conservation significance.

City ENRO head Atty. Carlo Gomez sees this opportunity to address the issues on the part of the mountain range that is within the city’s jurisdiction.

“The purpose of the VAMR is to provide some sort of management work to manage some areas that are affected by environmental issues. Kailangan kasi ng protection and kailangan ng conservation policy,” Gomez explained.

The proposal for the VAMR management board was discussed as early as 2020.

According to Gomez, the municipalities of Quezon, Narra, and Aborlan have already signed up for the proposal, while the local officials of the city are still discussing the matter.

“Ang VAMR Program na yan was headed by PCSD, and they already came up with a memorandum of agreement between the municipalities of Quezon, Narra, and Aborlan. Sa Puerto Princesa may delay tayo kasi nga the mayor is still seeking authority from the Sangguniang Panlungsod,” he said.

Gomez also said that Mayor Lucilo Bayron has already invited some PCSD staff to make a presentation about VAMR and the existing agreements between other municipalities to the Sangguniang Panlungsod for them to review and possibly approve giving the mayor the authority to sign for the said undertaking.

Railey Joshua Maclang, a senior high school student at Puerto Princesa City National Science High School, is a media intern at Palawan News under the Humanities and Social Sciences Work Immersion Program.

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