Sen. Cynthia Villar welcomed the clearance issued by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) allowing the establishment of wetland park facilities at the Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat and Eco-Tourism Area (LPPCHEA).
In a letter to Villar dated September 14, 2017, Capt. Jim Sydiongco, CAAP Director-General, granted the clearance to build structures at the LPPCHEA.
“With this clearance, we can start the construction of the wetland center at LPPCHEA for the holding in Manila of the 12th Session of the Conference of Parties to the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS COP12) on October 20 this year,” Villar said.
“There will be 1,000 delegates. This will be the first time it will be held in the Philippines and in Asia for that matter. One of their destinations is the LPPCHEA. We are trying to improve it so we can show something to them,” she added.
Last April, construction of the visitor’s center sponsored by the Villar Family already started. This will serve as the drop-off point and gathering area of people visiting the park.
The Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) required a clearance from CAAP before allowing the Tourism Infastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) to start building a wetland center that will house a museum, a training center, an office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and a restaurant.
The 175-hectare LPPCHEA is a protected ecotourism area and included in the Ramsar List as a Wetland of International Importance. It is a sanctuary for 84 endangered and vulnerable species of endemic and migratory birds from as far as Siberia. It is the breeding site of the vulnerable Philippine Duck and supports at least 1,000 of the remaining 100,000 Black-Winged Stilts in the world.
“The Convention is there to ensure the survival of migratory birds and one of the measures being pushed is the protection of habitats like LPPCHEA where species reside in or traverse through. It is our responsibility as citizens of the world to support these conservation measures,” Villar said.
Villar, chair of the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, is pushing for the establishment of the Las Piñas- Parañaque Wetland Park to ensure LPPCHEA’s conservation and to enhance the wetland’s natural landscape and make the people’s visit to the park more convenient and educational.