DENR chief gives back to alma mater PMA

FORT DEL PILAR, Baguio City—Sitting on the desk of President Duterte at Malacañang is a memorandum request for a presidential proclamation that will reserve 100 hectares of land for the Philippine Military Academy (PMA).

Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu gave this announcement to PMA Supt. Major Gen. Donato San Juan on February 14, with the reassurance the matter had been discussed and the president’s signature will simply formalize the agreement.

The request, signed by Cimatu, delineates a little over 100 hectares of public domain situated in the town of Tuba, Benguet, for a multipurpose training ground and other facilities of the PMA.

On March 22, 1985, then-President Ferdinand E. Marcos reserved 373 hectares for military use, now the PMA in Fort del Pilar. Then on November 25, 2015, the PMA, through Major Mario Bautista Jr., chief of the PMA real-estate office, informed the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) their thrust to acquire the additional 105 hectares of adjacent lots for training facilities.

The requested additional lot has long been exclusively used by the PMA as firing range, assault course and individual circuit-training course. On the Tuba side stands the PMA water-pumping station.

The memorandum request states that the proclamation of an additional area for the PMA will provide security of tenure; protection from encroachment and usurpation; human-insurgency threats; natural and man-made calamities; and adverse claims.

It also claimed that no potential problem is foreseen as the portion occupied by the informal settlers has been excluded from the approved survey SWO-CAR-000960.

Cimatu was at the PMA for the launch of the PMA Environmental Center in the Virgilio  Q. Marcelo room. The center will be for the education of the cadets on environmental awareness, protection and conservation. It will also serve the Armed Forces of the Philippines and other institutions in the region.

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