IN PHOTO: Former Bataan Representative Felicito “Tong” Payumo (right) inspecting the portion of the mountainous Bataan National Park while veteran newsman Mhike Cigaral looks on. (MHIKE CIGARAL)
Former Bataan Representative and former SBMA Chairman Felicito “Tong” Payumo expressed opposition to a reported plan to build a road network traversing the Bataan National Park.
“It will have a negative impact on the biodiversity that exists in the protected area”, Payumo told newsmen mentioning the proposed 40-kilometer Orani-Morong Acess Road that will reportedly cost P17 billion.
Payumo pointed out that Bataan National Park is the only remaining closed canopy dipterocarp forest in Central Luzon.
“I see no benefit in constructing the road because there are already alternative highways going to Orani, Hermosa, Dinalupihan, Subic, and Morong via the SCTEX and the Pilar-Bagac-Morong highway in the south”, he further stressed.
Bataan National Park virgin forest comprises more than 23,000 hectares of mountainous areas, tropical jungles, rivers, springs, and waterfalls.
Meanwhile, Bataan 1st District Representative Geraldine Roman said the proposed project is a European-style road network plan in a portion of Bataan National Park.
Roman even said in an interview way back in 2017 that she supports a gravel-type road system as an effective method of preserving historical heritage that will connect Orani with Morong.
Roman added that she wants Bataan National Park to become a scientific center for higher studies on flora and fauna.