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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

DENR to file cases against Runruno illegal settlers

Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya—The Department of Environment and Natural Resources will be filing charges against illegal settlers who refuse to leave the identified geohazard areas in Barangay Runruno in Quezon town.

Edgar Martin, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer, said the legal move is needed since some of the illegal settlers, who come from the provinces of Quirino, Isabela, and Ifugao, continue to defy DENR order for them to vacate the geo-hazard areas.

“We have been continuously telling them of the risks and their violations in living in the geohazard and forest zone areas. So far, many have complied with our order but there are still some who refuse to leave the area,” he said.

Martin said that since the Runruno tragedy that killed 10 illegal settlers during the onset of Typhoon Ulysses last year, a series of dialogues and information campaign activities have been conducted by the DENR with the help of the local government to convince the illegal settlers to leave their high-risk abodes.

Of the 411 illegal settler families, he said 28 have refused to leave the geohazard areas in sitios Bit-ang 1 and 2.

Martin said a 21-hectare relocation area in Barangay Boliwao is now being procured by the local government of Quezon.

However, only 37 families from Quezon town have qualified to be relocated in the area based on the criteria set by the National Housing Authority, which also pledged P50 million for the development of the relocation site.

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