OFFICIALS of the Regional Foreshore Area Task Force (RFATF) 7 will conclude their inventory of all beach resorts in Lapu-Lapu City this week.
This was revealed by Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 7 Director Gilbert Gonzales in a press conference yesterday.
Gonzales told reporters that before they release the results of their inventory, they already advised 44 establishments in Panglao Island, Bohol to voluntarily tear down structures that encroach on the three-meter easement zone, which is prohibited under Presidential Decree 1067, or the Water Code of the Philippines.
Gonzales said they also gave establishment owners in Panglao six months to do this.
Establishment owners who fail to address the situation will be subjected to criminal and administrative charges, he said.
Panglao Island was also included in RFATF 7’s inventory because it is also a major tourist attraction.
Meanwhile, Gonzales announced that they will also conduct a similar inventory on all beaches in Cebu Province.
“Actually lahat naman ngayon, even in other regions, we’re covering all beach areas, dito lang kami nagpo-focus muna sa Mactan but we have already notified some of the LGUs, ang iba nga nagsasarili na sila like in Moalboal, Oslob (We will conduct an inventory of all beaches in the country. Right now, we’re focusing on Mactan but we’ve already notified local government units. Others, like Moalboal and Oslob, have taken their own initiative (to check their beaches and dive sites for environmental violations).” Gonzales added.
The inventory of resorts in Panglao and Lapu-Lapu City was an offshoot of President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to temporarily close Boracay Island for six months to undergo rehabilitation, starting on April 26.
Boracay has been plagued with various environmental problems, including lack of proper solid waste treatment facilities.