Arroyo declares Mts. Banahaw, San Cristobal as protected areas

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on Friday signed a new law declaring Mounts Banahaw and San Cristobal in the provinces of Laguna and Quezon as protected areas.

Republic Act No. 9847 or "An Act Establishing Mounts Banahaw and San Cristobal in the Provinces of Laguna and Quezon as a Protected Area Under the Category of Protective Landscape Providing for its Management and Other Purposes" would ensure the protection and conservation of the mountains, including the flora and fauna in the areas.

The president signed the new law in Barangay Mapagong, Calamba, Laguna on Friday afternoon.

An article posted on said Mounts Banahaw-San Cristobal protected landscape covers 10,900 hectares in the municipalities of Sariaya, Candelaria, Dolores, Lucban, and Tayabas in Quezon, and Rizal, Nagcarlan, Liliw, Majayjay and San Pablo City in Laguna.

With the RA, the management of the areas will be now handled by the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) that will be chaired by the regional executive director of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Among those who witnessed the signing were: DENR Secretary Jose Atienza, Calamba City Mayor Joaquin Chipeco, and Laguna Governor Teresita Lazaro, among others.