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Saturday, December 15, 2018

Ultimatum set for Itogon resort owners

BENGUET. Swimming attires and gears sell like hotcakes beside the swimming pool area in Itogon, Benguet. Resort owners in the municipality were given ultimatum by the the Environmental Management Bureau-Cordillera Administrative Region on or before May 30, 2018 to secure and comply with the environmental laws, rules and regulations. (Milo Brioso)

AT LEAST 22 resort owners in Itogon, Benguet were given by the Environmental Management Bureau-Cordillera Administrative Region (EMB-CAR) on or before May 30, 2018 to secure and comply with the environmental laws, rules and regulations.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) EMB-CAR conducted an inspection report on the survey of tourist destinations including the swimming pools at the 1300 Level and Supang, Poblacion following the orders from DENR Undersecretary lawyer Juan Miguel Cuna directing a nationwide inventory on environmental compliance of establishments in tourist’s destinations.

“In order to effectively address the degradation of the country’s prime tourist destinations, a nationwide inventory of all establishments in vital tourist areas shall be conducted by this Department to proactively monitor compliance with environmental laws, rules and regulations,” the memorandum stressed.

The 22 resort owners met with EMB-CAR regional director Reynaldo Digamo for a technical conference in connection with the violation of the Philippine Environmental Impact Statement System (PEISS) and its implementing rules and regulations.

On the same day, the owners have confirmed their commitment to undertake the necessary mitigating measures of securing environmental compliance certificate on or before May 30. They will be securing a discharge permit within three months after the issuance of the ECC, construct septic tanks following the prescribed design and submit recommendation of the clustering of five resorts per pollution control officers on April 30.

“The technical conference was focused for their compliance to environmental laws for them to put up their septic tanks with the prescribed design they should also secure ECC for those with areas with 1,000 square meters but for below 1,000 they can apply for certificate of non-coverage. They should secure water rights from the National Water Resources Board and should designate also Pollution Control Officer (PCO),” added Digamo.

With their agreement, the EMB-CAR official added the hiring of their own PCOs could be done by cluster of five resorts or swimming pools to one PCO. The resort owners will also have to construct their own septic tank subject to the prescribed design.

“We give them ample time to secure all these permits the one that they should secure first ECC,” quipped Digamo.

Based on the inspection report, AWP section chief Engineer Cynthia Romero said the privately-owned swimming pools feature cold water hosed from tunnel 1300 level of Itogon-Suyoc Resources and hot water sourced from the abandoned tunnel of within the municipality.


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