Of illegal structures: Capitol to clear Moalboal shore
Le Phyllis F. Antojado (The Freeman) - December 13, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — At least 66 illegal structures, including business establishments, built in the coastal barangays of Moalboal town are set for demolition over easement violation.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-7 officer Jose Cleo Cary Colis said the structures were found to be within the three-meter easement zone.

In a Sugbo News report, Capitol’s official news page, Colis said that notices of violation were already sent to the owners.

He said that of the 60 structures located in Barangay Basdiot, 37 are commercial establishments. The six other structures are found in Barangay West Poblacion.

Basdiot and Poblacion West are two of three urban barangays where environmental laws have been heavily violated by tourism-related activities. Aside from illegal structures, lack of discharge permits was also found.

Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) head Rodel Bontuyan said a new notice will be issued against the operators to define the violation cited in the earlier notice of violation.

Bontuyan said that the previous notice was issued over a 20-meter-easement violation. He explained that the new notice will emphasize the three-meter-easement violation as defined in reclassifying foreshore land instead of the 20-meter easement.

In reclassifying foreshore land, the term “portions” must be used to emphasize certain violations and point out common structures to be removed such as retaining walls, concrete fences, stairs, a causeway, and a jetty, among others.

Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, in a meeting with Moalboal Mayor Paz  Rozgoni and Vice Mayor Inocentes Cabaron last December 10, said she wants tagging to be done in areas where structures are supposed to be removed.

This is to delineate parts of the structures that may remain, given that some structures fall within the three-meter easement violation and not the 20 meters earlier mentioned.

A profiling conducted by PENRO also revealed that only 35 of the 37 commercial establishments have been issued a mayor’s business permit, and that only two have SAPA (Special Use Agreement in Protected Areas).

SAPA is a tenurial instrument issued to enable the productive use of a protected area as defined under Republic Act 7586 or the National Integrated Protected Areas System Act of 1992. Moreover, only six have Environmental Compliance Certificates (ECC).

The Cebu Provincial Government seeks the creation of an Ecotourism Development Plan in Moalboal to make activities and business in the town sustainable and environmentally sound.

The governor is set to meet with the operators of the 37 establishments on December 19. (FREEMAN)

ILLEGAL STRUCTURES
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