National Parks Act 2022: Everything You Need To Know

Senate Bill No. 1588, “An Act Establishing the Philippine National Public Parks System, and Appropriating Funds Therefore” or simply the “National Parks Act of 2022” was introduced in the Legislative by Senator Francis Tolentino on December 5, 2022. It is still currently pending in the Senate under the Committees on Tourism; Civil Service, Government Reorganization and Professional Regulation; Ways and Means; and Finance.

What is the Purpose of the National Parks Act of 2022?

This bill provides that it is the State’s policy to protect and maintain the health and well-being of the Filipino people through the establishment and preservation of parks and open spaces. The State recognizes parks and open spaces as valuable assets and it mandates:

  • The establishment of the Philippine National Public Parks System for the conservation of the scenery, natural, and historical objects, and for the enjoyment in such manner and means that will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.
  • The recognition that parks and open spaces contribute to human health and well-being, social identity, tourism, biodiversity, air quality, water management, and cooling the environment.

What are National and Local Public Parks?

This refers to public lands laid out as a public garden or used for public recreation. This does not refer to national shrines administered by the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office.

Who is the National and Local Public Parks Authority?

Chapter 2, Section 4 of the Bill provides the creation of the National and Local Public Parks Authority (NALPA). NALPA is primarily responsible for the National and Local Public Parks System by establishing policies, plans, and programs taking into consideration the following:

  • establishment and maintenance of national and urban parks, open and green spaces, and recreational activities;
  • coordination and cooperation of policies, plans, and programs of different concerned sectors of the Philippine society; and
  • equal and active participation of the national government and appropriate agencies, LGUs, academe, and private sector to ensure that the National and Local Public Parks System shall be fully established and maintained.

National Parks Act 2022

Governing Board

The NALPA shall be governed by a Board composed of the following:

  • Secretary of Tourism as the Chairperson
  • Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources as Co-Chairperson
  • Secretary of Public Works and Highways, Secretary of Agriculture, Secretary of Interior and Local Government, Chairperson of the Commission of Higher Education, and Director-General of the TESDA Secretariat as members.

In addition, the President of the Philippines shall appoint the following members from the private sector:

  • Two representatives from a recognized professional architectural organization
  • Two representatives from the academe, preferably in urban planning.

The NALPA board shall organize themselves that the term of office of 1/3 of their number shall expire every year. The member from the private sector who was appointed to fill the vacancies caused by the expiration of terms shall hold office for three (3) years.

The NALPA Board shall meet at least twice a year or as frequently as necessary by the Chairperson.

The President of the Philippines may revise the membership of the NALPA Board whenever the President deems it necessary for the effective performance of the Board’s functions through an administrative order.

Powers and Functions of the NALPA Board

The NALPA Board shall:

  • Establish minimum quotas for all LGUs for the designation of municipal and city lands for public parks
  • Manage the country’s National and Public Parks System, and shall assist other government agencies and LGUs in planning, establishing, and managing parks
  • Promulgate, after due consultation with concerned groups and entities, policies, plans, programs, and guidelines for the effective implementation of this Act
  • Establish and manage the National and Local Public Parks Institute
  • Make Protected Areas accessible to the public for recreational purposes
  • Organize and constitute standing committees for efficient integration and coordination of local open spaces and urban parks
  • Exact reasonable fees and charges for services provided and training conducted and retain such earnings for its own use
  • Create an Advisory committee to provide expert and technical advice
  • Carry out other functions with a similar mandate and national scope.

Who is the National and Local Public Parks Authority

The NALPA includes the NALPA Secretariat, NALPA Administrator and Chief Executive Officer, Deputy Administrators, and Regional Administrators.

The NALPA Secretariat is an independent agency of the executive department in charge of providing proactive leadership in the continuous development of systematic approaches and measures to maintain and manage the National and Local Public Parks System.

The Secretariat shall have the following Divisions:

  • Finance Division
  • Programs and Public Affairs Division
  • Internal Audit Division
  • Security and Safety Division
  • Information and Communications Technology Division
  • Cultural and Heritage Preservation Division

The NALPA Administrator and Chief Executive Officer shall exercise general supervision and control over its technical and administrative personnel. They also have the power to recommend to the NALPA the structural organization and personnel complement of the Secretariat. The Deputy Administrators shall assist the Administrator in Research and Development, National Public Park Operations and Management, Local Public Park Operations and Management, and Park Architecture and Planning.

Lastly, the Regional Administrators shall be under the direct control of the Administrator and shall oversee the operations of National and Local Public Parks at the regional level.

To ensure its independence and autonomy, the NALPA Secretariat shall be classified as a National Government Agency and be considered higher in level than a Bureau-level agency, and enjoy such privileges and special rules similar to a Government Owned or Controlled Corporation, and a State University or College.

National Parks Institute

This bill also provides that there is a National Parks Institute of the Philippines created, which shall be under the supervision of the Board.

In coordination with CHED, state universities and colleges, and other private universities and institutions, the Institute shall serve as a unique training and development arm of the Authority, aimed at supporting the purposes of this Act.

National Parks System

Within three (3) years from the effectivity of this Act, the NALPA shall make a comprehensive study of national parks, urban parks, open spaces, and recreational-area facilities programs of the national government and LGUS and other areas of land throughout the Philippines. The report will be submitted to the NALPA board and they have the power to declare the identified areas as either National Parks, Urban Parks, Open Spaces, or Recreational-Area Facilities.

However, Rizal Park and Paco Park are still considered National Parks and shall be under the jurisdiction of the NALPA.

The Administrator and its Provincial Administrators are strictly mandated to investigate, study, and monitor areas, whether it is located in a luxury real estate or not, whose overall circumstances exhibit qualities of national significance and that may have the potential to become a NALPA Park.

National Parks System

Acquisition of Land

The NALPA, through the Administrator, has the power to acquire land and interests in land within the boundary of any NALPA Park. Thus, if your luxury house and lot in Metro Manila or its nearby area has the potential of becoming a NALPA Park, the Administrator or any of its Deputies or Provincial Administrators shall exercise the power of eminent domain for the acquisition of land and establishment of an identified National Park.

Creation of Urban Parks and Open Spaces in LGUs

The LGUs of any area, such as Alabang, Santa Rosa, Laguna, or other places in the Philippines shall have an obligation to identify Urban Parks and Open Spaces within their jurisdiction.

Once an area is identified, it may become either NALPA Administered Park or maintain their nature as a Local Park at the LGU’s discretion.

Get Close to Parks with Brittany Corporation

The national park bill can amplify our current laws on national parks and their preservation. While this bill is still being discussed in Congress, why not make time to visit the national parks in Metro Manila?

If you want to live nearer to these national parks and other historical sites, consider getting luxury homes Philippines through Brittany Corporation. Our house and lot properties for sale are great value for your money and are near recreational places, including national and historical parks.

To know more updates about Brittany Homes, you may check our visit our official website and check out our Youtube account.

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