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Press Release - Interpellation of Senator Risa Hontiveros on the plenary debates of the proposed budget of DENR

RE: Review Of Ecc, Sapas And Permitting System Of Large Infrastructure Project Inside Protected Areas

SRH: Salamat kaayu, Mr President so good sponsor to resume my interpellation earlier, it's a related topic doon sa iniwanan ni Sen Raffy, large projects inside protected areas, still on the subject of reviews of project for environmental compliance tulad noong unang paksa ko kanina sa reclamation sa Manila Bay. I'd like to bring to the attention of my colleagues two more protected areas that are now threatened by large projects. dalawa dito ay China-funded, Madam Sponsor, our esteemed colleague, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said last 30th October that the Senate has convened an oversight committee to review 6 projects funded by China. While Senator Sherwin focused on delays and the financial aspects of these projects, my concern is with the environmental permitting process, specifically with the two projects in the list

Senator Cynthia Villar (SCV): Who identified the two projects and who are doing the study on the six projects? I'm chairman of the environment and natural resources, I haven't heard of this.

SRH: Yes, good sponsor. These 6 projects were identified by Senator Gatchalian I can retrieve the list he mentioned last October 30. He mentioned this in an article in a Philippine Star.

SCV: So it's an article, it's not in the Senate

SRH: No, he mentioned in the article that the Senate has convened an oversight committee to review six projects funded by China.

SCV: What committee in the senate?

Senate President Migz Zubiri (SP): I don't recall setting that oversight committee, your honors. Maybe under his committees which is Ways and Means and basic education? So, I don't recall. We have to be accurate because we don't want to impute any malice, my dear colleague

SRH: I stand corrected. Senator Sherwin said last October 30 that the senate will exercise oversight over... so I'm correcting my earlier statement that the Senate has convened an oversight committee.

SCV: Oversight over 6 projects? Were the six projects enumerated there?

SRH: The six China projects funded under ODA are the Mindanao Railway Project, Tagum-Davao Digos segment, the closed circuit