DENR to remove illegal structure in Coron Bay

 

As part of its campaign to address water pollution and other environmental problems in popular tourist destinations, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources says illegal structures in Coron Bay in Palawan have to be removed.

These include more than 4,000 informal settler families who need relocation and business establishments built either on the water or encroaching on easement zones and mangroves.

Regional Director Natividad Bernardino of DENR MIMAROPA (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan), who spoke before a crowd of around 250 business owners at the Stakeholders’ Forum at Coron Coliseum on Tuesday, explains the agency has to do this difficult move to address high levels of coliform contamination in Coron Bay.

DENR identifies the absence of a centralized sewage treatment facility as the major problem that led to the deterioration of water quality in Coron Bay. Establishments discharge untreated wastewater while informal settlers dispose of all their wastes directly into the bay. Another source of pollutants are tourist and passenger boats emitting oil into the water.

“We need to decongest Coron Bay and ensure compliance to environmental regulations. We are appealing to the Provincial Government of Palawan and the local government of Coron to provide resettlement for the informal settlers who were previously identified as beneficiaries of the typhoon Yolanda relocation program” explains Bernardino.

DENR MIMAROPA created the Task Force Coron which will inspect more than 750 establishments, about half of them cater to tourists, for compliance to environmental regulations, easement zone provisions of the Clean Water Act, Water Code, and Forestry Code.

Task Force Coron has started the inspection last week and already found some hotels, restaurants, and dive shops atop stilts in Coron Bay. The Task Force is recommending the dismantling of these structures.

Bernardino admits though that Coron Bay is more congested and its rehabilitation may be more difficult because of the presence of a huge number of informal settlers who will need relocation before they can be demolished.

Coron’s iconic islands, lake, and rich marine resources draw more than 175, 000 tourists in the last two years. This has increased the demand for hotels, restaurants, and other services, exerting pressure on this small town’s becoming a problem for more residents and establishments.

Representatives of the local government of Coron, the Department of Interior and Local Government, the Department of Tourism, the Philippine Navy, and the Philippine Coast Guard who were present during the forum expressed full support for DENR’s initiative.

DOT MIMAROPA Regional Director Maria Luisa Diploma says the department is also closely monitoring tourist destinations in the region. She said, “kung hindinatinaalagaanangmgaito, ‘di narinmasisiyahangpumuntaangmgaturista.” She said that they will now require all tourist establishments to have proper wastewater discharge facilities before they can get DOT accreditation.

Coron Mayor AjericoBaracoso, meanwhile, said that the LGU has already formulated a project feasibility study for the construction a P400 million-peso centralized sewage treatment plant and is seeking fund support from DOT and other agencies concerned.

Business owners, recognizing the growing environmental problems and their potential impact to business, also express willingness to cooperate with the clean-up of Coron Bay and convey their appeal to DENR and other government agencies concerned.

Francisco Fernandez, president of Calamianes Association of Tourism Establishments (CATE) sought clarification if establishments without proper wastewater treatment facilities will be allowed to operate until the centralized sewage treatment plant is built.

Bernardino explains that as an interim measure, individual businesses should set up their own septic treatment facilities or they can enter into an agreement with companies that can provide desludging and sewage treatment services.

Community Environment and Natural Resources Officer EribertoSaños appreciates the high level of environmental awareness of the people of Coron, but he said, “environmental awareness is not enough, we need to act to preserve the country’s resources.”

News

 

PANGAPAT

DENR apprehends driver transporting dead wildlife

The Community Environment and Natural Resources Office in Puerto Princesa City, together with the Philippine National Police, apprehended today the driver of an unplated elf truck carrying dead marine turtles and pangolins while passing through a security checkpoint station in Brgy. Sta. Lourdes.

Officials of CENRO PPC's Regulation and Enforcement Unit assigned in the station identified the driver as Joshue A. Calinog, who was also found to have an unlicensed .38 caliber pistol.

Palawan’s Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Felizardo Cayatoc said Calinog was driving the truck loaded with 21 pangolins which scales were removed and then frozen; and 16 marine turtles (one green and 15 hawksbill), which intestinal parts were also removed and with only their heads and shells left intact. Pangolins and sea turtles are endangered species according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Authorities reported that the truck was from Roxas town. They have questioned Calinog but he had kept mum about the species. The driver was turned over to the police, while the wildlife species were brought to Palawan Council for Sustainable Development for proper documentation.

As this develops, DENR MIMAROPA Regional Director Henry Adornado has instructed the PENRO and CENRO concerned to coordinate with the authorities for the immediate filing of appropriate charges against the offender in view of the provisions of Republic Act 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act, and other laws. He also instructed all regional and field personnel to be more vigilant and intensify monitoring operations to track down and prevent unscrupulous individuals or groups from harming nature and wildlife.

“It was clear from the President’s State of the Nation Address. Protection of the environment must be our top priority. It will be a long journey and we are certain we will face a lot of challenges ahead. But we are more than ready to heed the call. Strategic measures are already in place and we are closely working with other agencies to strictly implement environmental laws and improve our operations. We can assure the public that we, at the DENR, uphold the welfare of our environment and natural resources above all else,” he said. ###

Photo Releases

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources celebrated its 31st founding anniversary at the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center (Amphitheater) on July 4, 2018.

Themed “Ikaw, ako, tayo ang kalikasan,” the celebration aims to remind everyone his/her own duty to protect the environment and conserve the natural resources.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s pronouncement in his third State of the Nation Address

DENR MIMAROPA, partner groups cleanup Calapan coastline; share commitment to end plastic pollution

Some 10 live critically endangered scally anteaters (Pangolin or balintong) were seized Friday from a fisherman moonlighting as an illegal wildlife trader in Barangay Liminangcong, Taytay town.

(Photo courtesy: Voltaire delos Angeles/CENRO-QRT Taytay)

Let's explore the TAMWorld! A photo and art exhibit organized by Far Eastern University in celebration of Tamaraw Month this October.

Hataw Tamaraw!

Turn-over Ceremony of EMB-MIMAROPA Regional Director

Taytay CENRO Pablo Cruz welcomes guests at the 20th anniversary celebration of ENTMRPA. "We thank you and reconize your roles in making our activities in 2018 successful and meaningful."

Themed "Nurturing shared responsibility for biodiversity conservation, the event celebrates two decades of concerted efforts of various stakeholders in protecting, saving and conserving El Nido

"Napakasarap po sa pakiramdam na sa nakaraan 20 taon, nabigyan ako ng pagkakataon mapangalagaan at maprotektahan ang El Nido, ang ating kalikasan. Makakaasa po ang ating mga kababayan, ang DENR, na patuloy nating poprotektahan ang El Nido, dahil ito ay ating tahanan"

-Mayor Nieves Rosento

"Di po namin kaya kung kami lang sa DENR ang kikilos kaya nagpapasalamat po kami sa ating lokal na pamahalaan at mga partner agencies na kasama namin sa nakaraan at sa susunod pang 20 taon ng pangangalaga sa El Nido."

-Regional Executive Director Henry A. Adornado

DENR Palawan and CENRO PPC personnel joined the 1st SUBARAW Biodiversity Festival Parade and Float Competition last November 11, 2018 at Puerto Princesa City, Palawan

"Hindi po magiging ganito kaganda ang El Nido kung hindi ito nai-proklama bilang isang Protected Area."

-Vice Mayor Leonor Corral

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