Puerto Princesa CIty, Palawan - Under the management of National Irrigation Administration (NIA) MIMAROPA Regional Manager Engr. Ronilio M. Cervantes, the Palawan Irrigation Management Office (IMO), headed by Division Manager Engr. Armando L. Flores participated in a meeting with the Technical Working Group (TWG) of Mt. Mantalingahan Protected Landscape-Protected Area Management Office (MMPL-PAMO) Committee on Biodiversity Conservation and Monitoring and Committee on Project Development of the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources (DENR) at training hall of DENR Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) in Puerto Princesa City.

The meeting focused on presenting and discussing the NIA's plans and programs particularly the proposed Malabangan River Irrigation Project (RIP), Ilog-Ilog RIP, and Ransang Small Irrigation Project (SIP) in Rizal Palawan. These three flagship irrigation projects have been validated by the MMPL team as a prerequisite for receiving a proper endorsement from the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB).

It was emphasized during deliberations that Malabangan RIP falls within the protected area, necessitating close coordination with DENR for securing various permits such as Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC), Gratuitous permits for special land uses of forest land, as well as to process and obtain Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC), and other essential certificates like certificate of precondition or non-overlap before the project implementation.

Meanwhile, the Ilog-Ilog RIP and Ransang SIP are situated beyond the confines of the protected area, yet the NIA will formulate an Environmental Management Plan (EMP) to safeguard and rehabilitate the watersheds since the river source is covered within the protected zone.

The DENR also mandated NIA to secure and submit necessary documentation including an endorsement from the Indigenous Peoples (IPs) group, Sangguniang Bayan and Barangay, list of beneficiaries, project proposal, and development plan.

Present at this meeting were personnel from Palawan Irrigation Management Office (IMO) along with DENR MIMAROPA's TWG led by Executive Director Felix Mirasol Jr., represented by Ronie E. Candeza and presided over by Conservation International, County Executive Director, Ms. Jeanne G. Tabanggay.