DOT, DENR in Region 10 looking into environmental compliance of resorts

Published April 9, 2018, 10:00 PM

by Mario Casayuran and Vanne Elaine Terrazola

By (PNA)

Cagayan de Oro City – Government agencies here have taken steps to check on the state of beach resorts in Northern Mindanao amid the crackdown on environmental violators in the tourism industry.

Department of Tourism-10 (DOT-10) Director Marie Elaine Unchuan said a joint team from her office and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has been conducting inspections on beach resorts in the region.

Unchan said the first wave of these inspections is being conducted in the coastal towns of Misamis Oriental where initial findings revealed that some beaches in the province violated the policy on no-build zones.

A 2013 Executive Order prohibits a no-build-zone policy 20 meters from the shoreline above high tide line, Unchan said.

She said then President Benign Aquino II issued the directive in the wake of super typhoon Yolanda that struck the country that year, which killed thousands.

“The 20-meter easement is for the safety of the tourists against storm surges and similar incidents,” she pointed out.

Prior to 2013, the coastal easement was only set at three meters as per Philippine Water Code guidelines.

Unchuan said erring resort operators have been notified, and that DOT is working with the DENR, through Regional Executive Director Arleigh Adorable, to determine the exact scope of violations.

The second part of inspection, set at the end of this month, will be in tourist-rich Camiguin, according to Unchuan.

Last week, the 100-strong Camiguin Tourism Association met with Gov. Ma. Luisa Romualdo and representatives from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to discuss issues affecting tourism and the environment.