Cebu News

CENRO: Developer “violated” laws

Alicia Chua - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — The Community Environmental and Natural Resources Offices (CENRO) has found several environmental violations and lack of permits against a developer in Barangay Binaliw, Cebu City.

CENRO has endorsed to the City Legal Office (CLO) the complaints of Cheryl Calleno, Mailin Lavado, and concerned residents of Barangay Pit-os against the developer on its ongoing project located in Barangay Binaliw.

According to the letter sent by CENRO to CLO on January 6, the complainants and developer are both riverside occupants of the Binaliw River, which serves as the boundary line between Barangays Pit-os and Binaliw.

On the riverbanks on the Pit-os side is where the complainants reside, while the developer is on the Binaliw side.

During its ocular inspection last September 5, 2019, CENRO personnel found out that the developer lacks the necessary permit/s in the construction of a retaining wall that was erected last year.

City Legal Officer Rey Gealon said that this stems from the complaints of residents in the area along the Binaliw river who are seriously affected by the development.

“In a clarification conference called for this purpose on 17 October 2019, the developer readily admitted that indeed they lack permits and clearances and undertook to implement an embankment,” said Gealon.

Gealon added that the CLO now recommends to the Office of the Building Official (OBO) to immediately issue a Cease and Desist Order should the violations persists after the verifications.

Aside from the lack of permits such as Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC), Permit to Cut, Building Permit, Quarry Permit and other permits needed for construction, it was also found that there are trees located at the river bank that might be affected by the ongoing construction.

CENRO also noticed that the wall constructed along the riverbank has violated Presidential Decree No. 1067, the Water Code of the Philippines Article 51, which states that “the banks of rivers and streams and the shores of the seas and lakes throughout their entire length and within a zone of three (3) meters in urban areas, twenty (20) meters in agricultural areas and forty (40) meters in forest areas, along their margins, are subject to the easement of public use in the interest of recreation, navigation, floatage, fishing and salvage.”

It was also stated in the letter that while CENRO was finalizing the agreement on when to demolish the retaining wall, the complainants reported that the developer resumed on its work and even constructed a new bridge on the Binaliw River.

The complainants said the constructions have affected the water flow of the river and they fear that the river obstructions would cause flooding in their premises.  GAN (FREEMAN)

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