Cimatu lifts suspension on issuance of tenurial instrument for protected areas

Secretary Roy A. Cimatu has announced that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is now ready to accept applications for special use agreement for protected areas (SAPA) as the indefinite suspension for its issuance is finally lifted.
SAPA is a tenurial instrument issued to enable productive use of a protected area (PA) as defined under Republic Act No. 7586 or the National Integrated Protected Areas System Act of 1992, while maintaining its status as a PA.
Cimatu recently issued a memorandum to all DENR regional offices informing them that the agency resumes enforcement of Department Administrative Order (DAO) No. 2007-17 or the rules and regulations governing the issuance of the tenurial instrument for PAs.
He also informed them about his issuance of an addendum to DAO 2007-17 as contained in DAO 2018-05, which provides for the standard computation of development fees imposed on SAPA recipients.
“Now that the suspension has been lifted, the DENR can guarantee that individuals, groups and companies can once again apply for the special use of the PAs,” Cimatu said.
Among the objectives of SAPA include putting a premium to ecosystem services provided by PAs, such as water supply, which is becoming a limited resource; and generating revenues that can be utilized for improved management and operations of the PAs, thereby reducing required national subsidy.
DAO 2007-17 provides “access and economic opportunities to indigenous peoples, tenured migrant communities, and other PA stakeholders to contribute to the reduction of poverty.”
It also seeks to optimize the special uses of PAs consistent with the principles of sustainable development and biodiversity conservation in cooperation with the stakeholders, as well as to guide the development of the appropriate zones for PAs.
“SAPA also serves as a regulatory tool for increased resource use beyond carrying capacity and increasing local economic opportunities, such as increased local employment from ecotourism establishments,” Cimatu said.

Sometime in 2011, the issuance of SAPAs has been indefinitely suspended by the DENR due to the absence of standard rate of development fee imposed on SAPA applicants.
DAO 2018-05, with the addendum on the rules and regulations for the special uses in PAs, provides a standard for computation for the development fee.
Biodiversity Management Bureau Director Crisanta Marlene Rodriguez said that under the addendum, development fees will now be imposed based on the fixed percentage of the zonal value of the land and improvements thereon.
According to her, the fees will be equivalent to five percent of the most recent zonal value of the commercial zone in the nearest municipality where the project is located multiplied by the area to be developed multiplied by the area to be developed plus one percent of the value of improvement as premium to the PA.
The annual SAPA fee, she said, shall be paid upon the issuance of the permit, and annually thereafter within 30 days from the date of issuance. “Failure to pay within the prescribed period shall be subject to surcharges of 8.33 percent monthly for the late payment or 100 percent for one year,” she said.
Aside from the SAPA fee, the DENR will also be collecting an administrative fee worth P5,000 from the proponent for every SAPA application filed, to cover the cost of examining, assessing, and processing the requirements submitted, and will then be deposited to the Integrated Protected Area Fund. ###