REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7586 (The NIPAS Act of 1992)
To secure for the Filipino people of present and future generations the perpetual existence of all native plants and animals through the establishment of a comprehensive system of integrated protected areas within the classification of national park as provided for in the Constitution.
All areas or islands in the Philippines proclaimed, designated or set aside, pursuant to a law, presidential decree, presidential proclamation or executive order as national park, game refuge, bird and wildlife sanctuary, wilderness area, strict nature reserve, watershed, mangrove reserve, fish sanctuary, natural and historical landmark, protected and managed landscape/seascape as well as identified virgin forests before the effectivity of NIPAS dated June 10, 1992.
National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) shall encompass outstandingly remarkable areas and biologically important public lands that are habitats of rare and endangered species of plants and animals, biogeographic zones and related ecosystems, whether terrestrial, wetland or marine, all of which shall be designated as "protected areas".
Strict nature reserve
An area possessing some outstanding ecosystem, features and/or species of flora and fauna of national scientific importance maintained to protect nature and maintain processes in an undisturbed state in order to have ecologically representative examples of the natural environment available for scientific study, environmental monitoring, education, and for the maintenance of genetic resources in a dynamic and evolutionary state.
Image: Taal Volcano
Categories of Protected Areas
Prohibited Acts Within Protected Areas
Hunting, destroying, disturbing, or mere possession of any plants or animals or products derived therefrom without a permit from the Management Board;
Dumping of any waste products detrimental to the protected area, or to the plants and animals or inhabitants therein;
Use of any motorized equipment without a permit from the Management Board;
Mutilating, defacing or destroying objects of natural beauty, or objects of interest to cultural communities (of scenic value);
Damaging and leaving roads and trails in a damaged condition;
Squatting, mineral locating, or otherwise occupying any land;
Constructing or maintaining any kind of structure, fence or enclosures, conducting any business enterprise without a permit;
Leaving in exposed or unsanitary conditions refuse or debris, or depositing in ground or in bodies of water; and
Altering, removing destroying or defacing boundary marks or signs.
Except as may be allowed by the nature of their categories and pursuant to rules and regulations governing the same, the following acts are prohibited within protected areas:
Whoever violates this Act or any rules and regulations issued by the Department pursuant to this Act or whoever is found guilty by a competent court of justice of any of the offenses in the preceding section shall be fined in the amount of not less than Five thousand pesos (P5,000) nor more than Five hundred thousand pesos (P500,000), exclusive of the value of the thing damaged or imprisonment for not less than one (1) year but not more than six (6) years, or both, as determined by the court.
If the area requires rehabilitation or restoration as determined by the court, the offender shall: restore or compensate for the restoration to the damages: Provided, further, that court shall order the eviction of the offender from the land and the forfeiture in favor of the Government of all minerals, timber or any species collected or removed including all equipment, devices and firearms used in connection therewith, and any construction or improvement made thereon by the offender.
Establishment and Extent of the System
Official Documentary Representation of the Entire System
Prepares a map and legal descriptions or natural boundaries of each protected area initially comprising the System
Submits to Congress
Within one (1) year from NIPAS Effectivity to Official Documentary Representation
Legal Documents pertaining to Protected Areas
Available to the Public
Where NIPAS are located through the following government agencies:
DENR Regional Office
Within three (3) years from effectivity of the NIPAS Act
Study and review each area tentatively composing the System as to its suitability or non-suitability for preservation as a protected area and inclusion in the Sytem according to the categories
Notify the public of proposed action through publication in a newspaper of general circulation, and such other means as the System deems necessary in the area in the vicinity of the affected land 30 days prior to the public hearing
Report its findings to the President as soon as each study is completed
Issue a Presidential Proclamation designating the recommended areas as protected areas and providing for measures for their protection
Send to Congress his recommendations with respect to the designations as protected areas or reclassification of each area on which review has been completed, together with maps and legal description of boundaries
Enacts a law finally declaring such recommended areas as part of the Integrated Protected Area Systems
Official Documentary Representation of the NIPAS System
Disestablishment of Protected Areas including Alterations of Boundaries
Effects of Disestablishment
Suggests a certain protected area should be withdrawn or disestablished, or its boundaries modified as warranted by a study and sanctioned by the majority of the members of the respective boards for the protected area
Enact a law for the disestablishment of a protected area under the System or modification of its boundary
Area shall revert to the category of public forests unless otherwise classified by Congress
After disestablishment by Congress, the Secretary may recommend the transfer of such disestablished area to other government agencies to serve other priority programs of national interest
Establishment of Buffer Zones
Buffer zones - are identified areas outside the boundaries of and immediately adjacent to designated protected areas that need special development control in order to avoid or minimize harm to the protected area.
For each protected area, there shall be established peripheral buffer zones when necessary, in the same manner as Congress establishes the protected area, to protect the same from activities that will directly and indirectly harm it. Such buffer zones shall be included in the individual protected area management plan that shall prepare for each protected area.
There shall be a general management planning strategy. The purpose of which are as follows:
To serve as guide in formulating individual plans for each protected area.
To promote the adoption and implementation of innovative management techniques including if necessary, the concept of zoning, buffer zone management for multiple use and protection, habitat conservation and rehabilitation, diversity management, community organizing, socioeconomic and scientific researches, site-specific policy development, pest management, and fire control.
To provide guidelines for the protection of indigenous cultural communities, other tenured migrant communities and sites for close coordination between and among local agencies of the Government as well as the private sector.
Administration and Management of the System
Conservation and Development Division.
Control and Administration
Created in regions where protected areas have been established, which shall be under the supervision of a Regional Technical Director
To manage protected areas and promote the permanent preservation, to the greatest extent possible of their natural conditions
Environmental Impact Assessment
Proposals for activities which are outside the scope of the management plan for protected areas shall be subject to an environmental impact assessment as required by law before they are adopted, and the results thereof shall be taken into consideration in the decision-making process.
No actual implementation of such activities shall be allowed without the required Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) under the Philippine Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) system. In instances where such activities are allowed to be undertaken, the proponent shall plan and carry them out in such manner as will minimize any adverse effects and take preventive and remedial action when appropriate. The proponent shall be liable for any damage due to lack of caution or indiscretion.
Survey for Energy Sources
Protected areas, except strict nature reserves and natural parks, may be subjected to exploration. This is only allowed when:
The purpose of gathering information on energy resources; and,
If such activity is carried out with the least damage to surrounding areas.
Surveys shall be conducted only in accordance with a program approved by the DENR, and the result of such surveys shall be made available to the public and submitted to the President for recommendation to Congress.
Any exploitation and utilization of energy resources found within NIPAS areas shall be allowed only through a law passed by Congress.