Get per­mits ready for in­spec­tion

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - Front Page -

Re­sort own­ers in Misamis Ori­en­tal could not just op­er­ate with­out se­cur­ing clear­ances and per­mits from the au­thor­i­ties like the Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­ment and Nat­u­ral Re­sources-North­ern Min­danao (DENR-10), the pro­vin­cial tourism of­fice said, Mon­day, April 16.

Lawyer Jef­frey Sa­clot, chief of the pro­vin­cial tourism of­fice, said they will be sum­mon­ing re­sort op­er­a­tors to hear their po­si­tion and de­ter­mine their com­pli­ance with en­vi­ron­men­tal laws and reg­u­la­tions.

“Sig­u­rado mi, ex­cept for some, nga ma­jor­ity of the re­sorts naka-se­cure og clear­ance kay dili mana sila maka put-up sa ilang busi­ness ug mag-op­er­ate kung wala silay per­mits from au­thor­i­ties like DENR (We are cer­tain, ex­cept for some, that ma­jor­ity of the re­sorts in the prov­ince have se­cured per­mits and clear­ances from au­thor­i­ties like DENR be­fore they op­er­ate),” Sa­clot said.

“We will be call­ing re­sort

op­er­a­tors para madun­gog nato ang ilang side kay if there are vi­o­la­tions nga na­com­mit an­gay lang nga moagi sa sakto nga pros­eso (We will hear their side be­cause whether they have vi­o­la­tions it should go through the process),”he added.

Gover­nor Yevgeny ‘Bambi’ Emano , who has made tourism a key pro­gram of his ad­min­is­tra­tion, said he has al­ready or­dered the tourism of­fice to form a team, in­clud­ing the capi­tol’s le­gal depart­ment, to look into the is­sues be­tween the DENR-10 and the re­sorts.

“Dili ba trabaho sa DENR nga sa wala pa matukod ang mga re­sorts nag oc­u­lar in­spec­tion na sila unya karon pa sila nataranta hu­man sa is­sue sa Bo­ra­cay (Is it not the job of DENR to check and con­duct oc­u­lar in­spec­tion be­fore re­sorts were build? Why just now af­ter the Bo­ra­cay is­sue?),”Emano asked.

Emano said if the DENR-10 is­sues im­me­di­ate clo­sure or­ders on re­sorts with sup­posed vi­o­la­tions, the clo­sures would ad­versely af­fect the tourism in­dus­try of the prov­ince.

Misamis Ori­en­tal has about a hun­dred re­sorts op­er­at­ing in dif­fer­ent parts of the prov­ince..

But, Sa­clot clar­i­fied that busi­ness own­ers should meet and com­ply all en­vi­ron­men­tal re­quire­ments.

Sa­clot said they wonder why the is­sue about the Seven Seas Wa­ter Park and Re­sort in Opol town was raised just now where DENR-10 could have laid down the mat­ter be­fore the con­struc­tion.

“We be­lieve Seven Seas also go through the process. We should not set aside their right also kay ac­cord­ing to them they legally ac­quired the prop­erty,”Sa­clot said.

The pro­vin­cial tourism of­fice is wait­ing for the re­sult of the in­spec­tion con­ducted by the an in­spec­tion team from DENR-10 so they can ar­range a di­a­logue with all af­fected en­ti­ties.

“Dili pwede nga di­retso ipasara. Man­ingkamot ang atong of­fice nga ma-pro­tek­ta­han ang in­ter­est sa mga op­er­a­tors but the same way ki­na­hanglan i-com­ply ug mo­tu­man ang mga en­vi­ron­men­tal re­quire­ments and laws (Its not right that re­sorts will be closed down im­me­di­ately. Our of­fice will try its best to pro­tect the in­ter­est of the re­sort op­er­a­tors),”Sa­clot added.

Mean­while, the DOT’s top of­fi­cial in the re­gion cau­tioned gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials against mak­ing pro­nounce­ments that may have ad­verse ef­fects on the boom­ing tourism in­dus­try.

DOT-10 re­gional di­rec­tor May Sal­vanaUnchuan also re­minded re­sort own­ers that the gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion to close Bo­ra­cay should serve as a les­son for in­vestors to prac­tice due dili­gence be­fore in­vest­ing.

“Any­thing that is un­ver­i­fied should not be spread be­cause it is un­fair to our in­vestors but this is also a les­son in due dili­gence for our in­vestors, to make sure that they know all about the land they are buy­ing for in­stance. Yes there might be lawyers who are tasked to do that, but own­ers should dou­ble-check and study fur­ther” Sal­vanaUnchuan said.

“Porke gi­hata­gan ka sa mu­nisipyo ug per­mit (al­though the lo­cal gov­ern­ment gives you a per­mit), that does not mean you don’t vi­o­late any­thing like in Bo­ra­cay it’s the same thing, the law is the law. Kita gyud mismo mobasa gyud sad ta (even us we should read, be­cause later it’s not ac­cept­able kung muin­gon lang ta na wala ta kahibalo ana (if we only say we don’t know any­thing about it),” she said.

Sal­vana-Unchuan said a re­gional in­ter-agency task force is con­duct­ing an eval­u­a­tion of the re­sorts and do­ing oc­u­lar in­spec­tions in tourist spots and see if they are vi­o­lat­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal laws.

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