ENVIRONMENTAL group Masungi Georeserve Foundation trustee Ann Dumaliang on Wednesday contradicted the claim of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) that the memorandum of agreement (MoA) on the reforestation program at the Masungi Georeserve in Tanay, Rizal was disadvantageous to the government.
In a radio interview, Dumaliang added that Environment Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga should look into the information provided by the DENR's local offices.
"During the recent budget hearing at the Senate, the senators asked for an enforcement campaign at Masungi and the DENR issued a manifesto. It is alarming that the DENR claims that our firm is illegal and that the reforestation program is disadvantageous to the government. We denounce this statement," Dumaliang said.
Dumaliang added that the MoA between the DENR and the Masungi Georeserve Foundation was signed in 2017.
"Under the MoA, the DENR authorized us to reforest Masungi. The Senate declared the MoA as legal and binding unless the court invalidates it," Dumaliang said.
delivered to your inbox
Dumaliang also denied the claim of DENR that the foundation failed to consult with the local government units (LGUs).
"That is not true. We always make it a point to inform the LGUs and explain to them the MoA. There were even instances where the members of the DENR were present during the consultation," Dumaliang added.
Dumaliang added that the DENR even accused the Masungi Georeserve Foundation of being involved in "money-making activities."
"The DENR issued remarks that we were involved in money-making. This is far from the contents of the MoA," she added.
According to Dumaliang, officials of the DENR even claimed in October that the armed men who tried to occupy Masungi were not inside the georeserve area.
"Secretary Yulo-Loyzaga should examine the quality and integrity of information from the lower offices to the national," Dumaliang said.
At the same time, Dumaliang said Yulo-Loyzaga should fulfill her promise to stop the quarrying operations at Masungi Georeserve.
"She promised to stop the quarry agreements and based on the feedback from the Upper Marikina Coalition, the DENR has yet to order the cancellation of the quarrying agreements," Dumaliang added.