Erring Puerto Galera businesses to be demolished
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.