The Department of Environment and Natural Resources-CAR is positive that the creation of the Chico River Basin Development Authority will significantly contribute in the management and development of the Chico River.
DENR Regional Executive Director Ralph Pablo expressed support to House Bill 381 or the act seeking for the creation of the Chico River Basin Development Authority during a technical working group meeting with the Committee on Government Enterprises and Privatization at the House of Representatives on April 5.
Pablo noted the ecological, historical, economic and tourism value of the Chico River, which is among the primary river systems not only in the Cordillera but in the entire Philippines.
“Acknowledging all the benefits provided by the major river system (Chico River) and environmental problems that pose threats to it, we, at the DENR, find it necessary to establish a body which shall plan, formulate, implement, monitor and evaluate programs, projects and activities that promote sustainable development of the Chico River,” Pablo stressed in his position paper.
The Chico River Basin Development Authority is eyed to be an autonomous body that shall plan, formulate, implement, oversee and evaluate self-initiated, multi-sectoral and sponsored programs, projects and activities in the Chico River. It shall also recommend to the Office of the President and Congress related matters that require executive directives and congressional legislation.
During the meeting, Pablo sought clarification on Section 19 of the proposed measure, which states that the body shall operate as an independent corporation, which will be under the supervision of the DENR.
The body is intended to be under the Office of the President and also under the supervision of the DENR. But with the query, the matter shall be corrected or clarified in the bill.
Pablo also highlighted the fact that the body will be appropriated funds under the General Appropriations Act. He said such will be advantageous as the it will have funds to use for development programs, projects and activities.
He hopes that the operations of the body will not be limited to funds appropriated for it.
House Bill 381 was principally authored by Kalinga Rep. Allen Jesse Mangaoang. The bill was referred to the Committee on Government Enterprises and Privatization for review.