MORE than 20 illegal structures will have to be relocated from the uplifted coastline in Loon and Maribojoc in Bohol, which was declared earlier this week as a geological monument.

The administrative order of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) that declared the Loon-Maribojoc Geological Monument prohibits human settlement and illegal structures in the area.

The declaration covers 137 hectares or 1.37 square kilometers of coastline in four barangays in Loon and two barangays in Maribojoc, which went up by as much as 1.2 meters during the 7.2-magnitude north Bohol earthquake on Oct. 15, 2013. The upliftment stretches about eight kilometers, leaving sea grass beds and corals dead.

Dr. Eddie Llamedo, DENR 7 information officer, said that the uplifted coastline has not been declared stable yet so habitation and construction of new structures is prohibited due to safety concerns.

Relocation

He urged concerned local governments to relocate those who built illegal structures on the uplifted coastline.

Secretary Ramon Paje of DENR ordered the Mines and Geosciences Bureau to conduct ground verification of the area. The bureau will also develop a park management plan in coordination with other government agencies and concerned local governments.

The declaration met opposition in Maribojoc and Loon, whose mayors pointed out the lack of consultation prior to the declaration.

Llamedo said that the DENR and MGB conduct public consultations among stakeholders in drafting conservation and management plans for the area.

“We welcome their plans for the area. We will submit these to the DENR central office for possible appropriate action,” he said.

In the administrative order, Paje said the uplifted coastline “constitutes an irreplaceable segment of earth's history and geological heritage and should therefore be preserved, protected and maintained for scientific, educational, and tourism purposes.”