Issue of May 13, 2018

70th Courier Anniversary Issue
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Cimatu lifts SAPA suspension, agency ready to take request
by DENR release

Environment Sec. Roy A. Cimatu announced that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources is now ready to accept applications for special use agreement in protected areas (SAPA) as the suspension for its issuance has been lifted.

SAPA is a tenurial instrument issued to enable productive use of a protected area under Republic Act 7586 or the National Integrated Protected Areas System Act, while maintaining its status as a protected area.

Cimatu recently issued a memorandum to DENR regional offices that the agency is resuming the enforcement of Department Administrative Order (DAO) 2007-17 or the rules and regulations governing the issuance of the tenurial instrument for protected areas.

The memorandum also contains DAO 2018-05, which provides for the standard computation of development fees imposed on SAPA recipients. The former is an addendum to DAO 2007-17.

“Now that the suspension has been lifted, the DENR can guarantee that individuals, groups, and companies can once again apply for the special use of the protected areas,” Cimatu said.

Among the objectives of SAPA is putting a premium to ecosystem services provided by protected areas, such as water supply, which is becoming a limited resource; and generating revenues that can be used for improved management and operations of the protected areas, thereby reducing national subsidy.

DAO 2007-17 provides “access and economic opportunities to indigenous peoples, tenured migrant communities, and other protected area stakeholders to contribute to the reduction of poverty.”

It also seeks to optimize the special uses of protected areas consistent with the principles of sustainable development and biodiversity conservation in cooperation with the stakeholders, as well as to guide the development of the appropriate zones for such areas.

“SAPA also serves as a regulatory tool for increased resource use beyond carrying capacity and increasing local economic opportunities, such as increased local employment from ecotourism establishments,” Cimatu said.

In 2011, the DENR suspended the issuance of SAPAs due to the absence of a standard development fee imposed on applicants. 

DAO 2018-05, with the addendum on the rules and regulations for the special uses in protected areas, provides a standard for computation for the development fee.

Biodiversity Management Bureau Director Crisanta Marlene Rodriguez said  under the addendum, development fees will now be imposed based on the fixed percentage of the zonal value of the land and improvements thereon.

She said the fees will be equivalent to five percent of the most recent zonal value of the commercial zone in the nearest municipality where the project is located multiplied by the area to be developed plus one percent of the value of improvement as premium to the protected area.

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