Demolition eyed for 66 structures

SOME 66 structures in three coastal barangays in the southern town of Moalboal are being considered for demolition after these were found to be illegal.

The majority are bars and restaurants in Barangays Basdiot and Poblacion West, said Jose Cleo Cary Colis of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 7. The structures are violating environmental laws for not complying with the three-meter easement zone.

Forty-three notices of violation were already issued in Barangay Basdiot but these pertained to the violations of the 20-meter easement zone provided under Presidential Decree 1067, or the Water Code of the Philippines.

Rodel Bontuyan, head of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (Penro), explained that due to the reclassification of some parts of the foreshore land their office will soon issue another notice to clarify the three-meter easement violation.

Based on the profiling conducted by the Penro, 35 of 37 commercial establishments in Barangay Basdiot have complete permits but only two have a special use agreement in protected areas (Sapa), while only six have environmental compliance certificates (ECC).

According to Republic Act 7586, or the National Integrated Protected Areas System Act of 1992, Sapa “is a tenure instrument that provides operators with the opportunity to use a protected area in an efficient manner.”

The Penro also discovered that apart from being illegal structures, the establishments lacked discharge permits, which is the reason Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia wants the office to check and tag areas where there are still structures that need to be removed.

The Provincial Government wants to create an ecotourism development plan to improve Moalboal by conducting environmental activities like what it has done in Mantayupan Falls in Barili and Kawasan Falls in Badian.

The Penro is scheduled to submit a report to the governor next week.

Garcia will meet with erring operators to discuss their violations on Dec. 19.

Many local and foreign tourists flock to Moalboal to enjoy its beaches, snorkel, dive and watch the sardine run, among other things. (ANV / RGT)


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