Jul 6, 2020

Forest settlers driven out of Iwahig penal property

He said the illegal settlement is where the Puerto Princesa City Water District will establish its reservoir under its Water Supply Improvement Project-Phase 2.

(Photos courtesy of Levi Evangelista)

The Iwahig Corrections Facility (ICF) has asked some 15 illegal settlers within the penal facility’s property in Barangay Montible to vacate.

Information officer CTO II Levi Evangelista said the settlers have built houses made of light materials and were engaging in collecting forest products for their livelihood.

He said the illegal settlement is where the Puerto Princesa City Water District will establish its reservoir under its Water Supply Improvement Project-Phase 2.

“Ipinaliwanag natin na sila ay nasa lupa ng government na pagmamayari ng Iwahig at ang pagtatayo ng anumang istraktura ay ipinagbabawal at there’s a need for them to vacate the area sapagkat ito po ay magiging water reservoir ng PPCWD,” he said.

He added that the penal facility issued the illegal settlers a formal “notice to vacate.”

“Malapit ito sa ongoing project ng PPCWD kung kaya’t isa rin itong dahilan kung bakit kinakailangan natin sila ay mag-evacuate sapagkat ito ay protected area,” he said.

“May follow up operation kami dyan, pumayag naman ang mga residente doon na lilisan, bigyan lang sila ng ilang araw para makaalis sa area,” he said.

Evangelista said the settlers have agreed to vacate the area within two months.

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