THE mayors of Bantayan and Sta. Fe want the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to lift the suspension on the issuance of environmental compliance certificates (ECC) on land improvements in Bantayan Island.

Bantayan Mayor Chris Escario and Sta. Fe Mayor Jose Esgana said this has prevented businessmen from investing in the island since developing property without an ECC is illegal.

Escario said local government units (LGUs) may be swamped with applications for permits for land development but without the ECC, their applications are pending.

DENR 7 Technical Director Isabelo Montejo said the suspension was based on the order of the environmental court, which is handling a mandamus case filed against the agency by lawyer Antonio Oposa.

Montejo said the court ordered the DENR to submit a general management plan (GMP) for every municipality in Bantayan Island before the suspension can be lifted.

Montejo said this was the reason they conducted a public consultation last June 25 so the people and the Protected Areas Management Board (PAMB) can endorse the draft GMP.

The PAMB resolution endorsing the GMP will then be submitted to the court and to the DENR central office for approval.