Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR) park superintendent Elizabeth Maclang has expressed frustration over what she described as redundant inquiries being conducted by the City Council’s committee on indigenous peoples and cultural communities.
Maclang was reacting to a new invitation from the committee over the gathering of almaciga resin by IPs in the park and their alleged displacement from their ancestral domain, involving park rangers.
Maclang said the issues being raised against the park management have long been resolved and the allegations have been proven to be groundless.
“Gusto ko lang malaman from the IP Committee kung ano ba ang [protocol] nila. Pag sumulat ba sa kanila nave-veverify ba nila? kasi paulit-ulit,” Maclang said.
“Hindi sila pwedeng mag-almaciga dahil lapse na yung kanilang permit and kailangan nang iinventory ang mga almaciga trees to identify ilan pa dito ang pwedeng pagkunan ng resin kasi overtapped na yung ilan,” she explained.
Maclang also clarified that there are no incidents where park rangers displaced IPs or demolished structures as part of the issues raised against the management.
Earlier, in a letter dated July 26 and addressed to the SP Secretariat, Maclang expressed that being invited to answer the same issue repeatedly is counterproductive.
“I have been called to this honorable committee for the same issue so many times and I personally find it disadvantageous considering our time, effort, and resources to discuss this issue over and over again,” she said in the letter.
“The grievances of our IPs do not fall on deaf ears. They are just being barked at the wrong tree. We have 3 IP representatives in the PAMB, one for each CADC. If it does not suffice them, we have two people’s organization representatives and four barangay captains representing their respective barangays. All of them are very much willing to help them, listen to them, and air their grievances at our regular PAMB meetings,” the letter also stated.
In the end, Maclang appealed to the committee to be more prudent in handling complaints as it reflects the integrity of the body.
“It’s also a way of protecting the integrity of the body. Mamaya patol tayo ng patol sa reklamo yun pala mga ilegalista na ang napapanigan natin. Pwede syang mainterpret na iba,” Maclang said.