BAYOMBONG, NUEVA VIZCAYA, (PNA) — An official of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources(DENR) has dubbed the Lower Magat Eco-Tourism Park(LMETP) mini-zoo illegal.
The LMETP mini-zoo in Barangay San Luis in Diadi town houses various exotic animals as its major attractions.The zoo boasts of various bird species, snakes, monkeys and ostrich among others.
DENR Regional Technical Director Wilfredo Layugan, in a recent meeting of the LMETP steering committee, said the mini-zoo is illegal because it does not have permit and further violated Republic Act 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.
A provision states that before the establishment of a zoo, a clearance must be secured first from the DENR secretary or any authorized representative.
“If these animals will be turned over to us, maintenance expenses must come from the provincial government. If this will be approved then we will accept the responsibility,” Layugan said.
Henry Patricio, provincial environment and natural resources officer said the illegality of the mini-zoo resulted from the insufficient coordination between the provincial government and DENR.
“We are now trying to address this issue with the full support of the provincial government so that we can put in place the proper and legal documents which are required for it to operate,” he said in a press conference.
The LMETP is part of the more than 24,000 hectare Lower Magat Forest Reserve(LMFR), covering barangays Varetbet and Villaros in the town of Bagabag and almost all of the barangays of Diadi town.