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Press Release - Tulfo proposes to reduce DENR budget, realign funds to some agencies

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) failed to answer a lot of questions from Senator Idol Raffy Tulfo regarding some projects affecting the oppressed Indigenous peoples (IPs) during the Senate deliberations on the proposed 2024 budget of said agency yesterday, Nov. 20.

Tulfo noted that one of the projects that did not follow due process and violated the rights of IPs is the construction of a 12-turbine Wind Farm on top of the Masungi Rock (Southern portion) in the Masungi Conservation area which is a natural heritage protected by Presidential Proclamation 1636 and DENR DAO 1993-33.

He said that if the DENR is really serious in conserving Masungi, they should not have given go signals to companies and agencies to exploit the area and allow them to operate without clear consent of IPs.

Notably, the DENR also failed to provide the Senator from Isabela and Davao with some documents he required from them.

As such, Tulfo proposed to defer the huge budget of DENR or reduce it and realign some of its funds to other agencies needing it more, including the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), and National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC).

Tulfo said his proposal would help NBI to investigate the persistent violations against indigenous peoples, particularly the claim of DENR sponsor that the decision of IPs are easily influenced.

Meanwhile, Tulfo pushed for additional funds for DMW to widen their support and protection of OFWs. As for DICT, he said that it would help them fight against cybersecurity threats.

Additionally, extra budget for NLRC would help for speedy resolution of cases and disposition of justice for workers complaining against abusive employers.

Tulfo said he would later submit the specific amount and his proposed amendements on DENR budget.

Maraming mga hindi nasagot na tanong mula kay Sen. Idol Raffy Tulfo sa budget hearing sa Senado kagabi, Nov. 20, ang Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) tungkol sa mga proyekto na nakakaapekto sa Indigenous Peoples (IPs).

Kabilang sa proyektong ito ang Wind Farm sa Masungi