Panglao resort owners ordered to dismantle illegal structures

Published March 21, 2018, 10:00 PM

by Mario Casayuran and Vanne Elaine Terrazola

By Dandan A. Bantugan

Panglao, Bohol – Resort owners here were directed Tuesday by Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu to dismantle illegal structures within six months or face charges.

Cimatu issued the directive after inspecting the shorelines of Alona Beach in Barangay Tawala in this tourist town during the second day of his visit where he found several structures along the 20-meter easement zone.

Earlier, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) disclosed that 87 establishments violated the easement zone in Barangays Tawala, Bolod, Libaong and Danao in Panglao town and Barangay Bingag in Dauis town.

Panglao Island, considered the crown jewel of Bohol’s tourism, is composed of the towns of Panglao and Dauis.

Cimatu arrived in Bohol Monday, passing by the town of Tubigon where he joined the 37th founding anniversary of the Philippine Army’s 47th Infantry Battalion and passed by the HEAT-IT Bohol Caravan in Hanopol, Balilihan before proceeding to Panglao.

Cimatu failed to inspect the septic tanks and wastewater facilities of the establishments on the island.

The DENR earlier identified the lack of septage treatment facility and “bottomless” septic tanks as among the problems contributing to the environmental woes of the island.

Cimatu also told a representative of Dataland Inc. that the 12-story beachfront hotel it is building on Alona Beach was illegal.

The Panglao municipal government recalled Dataland’s building permit for violating the municipal zooming ordinance and the Comprehensive Land Use Plan.

Cimatu said the problem in Panglao was not as bad as that in Boracay Island, which was earlier described by President Duterte as a “cesspool.”

Cimatu said he is now temporarily based in Boracay where the government’s crackdown on environmental violators has been centered.

DENR said the island suffers overdevelopment and deteriorating water conditions.

Ernesto Pernia, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) chief and Socio-economic Planning Secretary. was with Cimatu during the inspection in Panglao.

Pernia said that while Bohol has an environment code enacted in 1998, local officials lacked the will to enforce it.