This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.
MANILA, Philippines – While the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) had already postponed its plan of building its headquarters at the Masungi Georeserve in Rizal, Senator Nancy Binay said on Tuesday, April 18, that the Senate panel on tourism would study how to transfer the area’s ownership to the right government agency.
“Because, at the end of the day, the National Bilibid Prison is a part of government, so that is also still government property,” Binay told reporters in a press briefing after her ocular inspection at Masungi.
“Paano magtatayo ang Bilibid rito ‘di ba? ‘Yung cost puro bangin. Alangan naman na putulin nila ‘yung [mga puno sa] bundok para pagtayuan ng kulungan? So space wise, ‘yung lupa dito sa Masungi ‘di siya ideal for construction sa Bilibid, ‘di siya angkop sa terrain ng lupa,” she added.
(I thought, how can Bilibid build facilities here? The cost is that there are ravines. We can’t just cut trees to build prison cells, so space-wise, the land here in Masungi is not ideal for the construction of Bilibid facilities. It is not appropriate for the land’s terrain.)
The senator, the chairman of the Senate committee on tourism, vowed to study the “quickest way to solve the problem.”
In February, the BuCor asserted that it had the “newly minted title” of more than 270 hectares of Lot 10 — in the georeserve based on Proclamation No. 1158 issued by then-President Gloria Arroyo in 2006.
Binay said that the BuCor needs to assure the Senate that it won’t touch the Masungi land even after the term of BuCor Director General Gregorio Catapang Jr.
“Kasi ‘di ba nabanggit ni General Catapang na hindi na magtatayo. Pero, ‘yun ‘yung, I dont think that is the position that will be taken by whoever will take his position ’pag kunwari tapos na ang term niya so ang gusto natin ay may continuity dun sa policy na ‘yun,” she said.
(General Catapang said that they won’t build facilities. But, I dont think that is the position that will be taken by whoever will take over the position when his term is over. What we want is a continuity of policy.)
While waiting for the long-term solution for the problem, the senator suggested a memorandum of agreement that would assign the Masungi Foundation as caretaker of the georeserve.
The Masungi Georeserve is a conservation area that houses fragile limestone formations protected by the Masungi Foundation. As a geotourism site, it conserves the geographical and historical identity of the place, including heritage and culture.
Binay urged other high-ranking government officials, even Catapang, to also visit Masungi for them to see that it is not proper to convert the area.
“After seeing this, I’m totally against the plan. Like what Iv’e said, after this trip, I will bring my children here, and convince my Senate seatmates to do hiking here so they could see that this place exists, and that we need to protect it,” she said.
“If more high-ranking government officials will visit the place, maybe we can join efforts together, and we will find a compromise to protect Masungi,” Binay added in a mix of English and Filipino. – Rappler.com