Erring Puerto Galera busi­nesses to be de­mol­ished

The Philippine Star - - NATION - By RHO­D­INA VILLANUEVA – With Louise Mau­reen Simeon

At least 16 com­mer­cial es­tab­lish­ments, mostly re­sorts and restau­rants, built on ease­ment zones in Puerto Galera will be de­mol­ished as part of gov­ern­ment ef­forts to re­ha­bil­i­tate ma­jor tourist des­ti­na­tions.

Vi­cente Tud­dao Jr., Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­ment and Nat­u­ral Re­sources (DENR)Mi­maropa as­sis­tant di­rec­tor and Task Force Galera chair­man, served the no­tices and gave the own­ers of the es­tab­lish­ments 30 days to com­ply.

“We hope they will be re­spon­si­ble enough to re­move the struc­tures they built on ease­ment zones... The sooner we can start the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of Sa­bang and White beaches, the bet­ter,” Tud­dao said.

Apart from clear­ing the three-me­ter ease­ment zones, Task Force Galera in­spected es­tab­lish­ments for com­pli­ance with en­vi­ron­men­tal reg­u­la­tions, such as se­cur­ing dis­charge per­mits, en­vi­ron­men­tal com­pli­ance cer­tifi­cates and per­mits to op­er­ate as well as haz­ardous waste reg­is­tra­tion and solid waste seg­re­ga­tion.

Co­liform con­tam­i­na­tion were traced to lack of proper waste­water dis­posal fa­cil­ity and over­crowd­ing of struc­tures.

Tud­dao said wa­ter qual­ity tests in five sam­pling sta­tions in Puerto Galera from 2009 to 2017 showed high co­liform lev­els.

The DENR is re­ha­bil­i­tat­ing Puerto Galera not only for tourism but also for sci­en­tific re­search.

The UNESCO de­clared Puerto Galera as a “Man and Bio­sphere Re­serve” in 1977 for be­ing a model of sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment.

The town was stripped of the recog­ni­tion in 2014, but it re­gained the sta­tus in July af­ter the lo­cal gov­ern­ment sub­mit­ted an in­te­grated man­age­ment plan.

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