Penro asks LGU: Stop development in Ilihan
The Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (Penro) has recommended to the Toledo City government to issue a cease and desist order against the subdivision site development i n Barangay Ilihan after noting tension cracks in the area during their inspection last December 2.
Barangay officials from Ilihan and Magdugo, an adjoining village, asked for an inspection of the area after a minor landslide occurred near the site development last December 1.
The Penro team noted that there were ground fissures near the crown of the landslide.
The site development project which was granted a permit by the city’s building office was under the name of a certain Jose Soroneo, a stockholder of West Green and Gates Development Corp.
The 1.5-hectare property was to be developed by West Green into a one-storey housing project.
Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) chief Baltazar Tribunalo said Penro forwarded to them a copy of the ground assessment report, tasking them to conduct a risk assessment in the area.
However, Tribunalo said they are puzzled by how the development in the area progressed because of the irregular holes that the developer dug. “The permit was site development pero nahibulong mi basin naa nay treasure hunting, kay kung site development nganong ingon ana na man kadagko ang
gikalot,” said Tribunalo. According to the site inspection report, the tension cracks found surrounding the property are about 20 to 30 cm wide and 30 to 50 cm deep.
“The team noted that Mr. Soroneo was also conducting site development or excavation works at the upper portion (southwest) of the subject area which is already out of the applied lot and project,” the inspection report read.
Tribunalo said the Toledo City LGU has already issued a CDO against the site development on Thursday pending further risk assessment of the PDRRMO and the Toledo City DRRMO. The report said there are 20 households located about 300 meters from where the tension cracks were noted. Lawyer Inocencio Dela Cerna, counsel of West Green, however, said there was no CDO issued against the site development as far as they are concerned.
“We received a letter yesterday (Thursday) from the office of Mayor [John Henry] Osmeña telling us to temporarily stop the quarry operations in the area.
But the development in the area is not a quarry operation but a subdivision development,” Dela Cerna said in a phone interview.
Dela Cerna added that the company was issued with all necessary permits from concerned government agencies which they will present should there be a call for them to explain.
He also belied rumors that the site development was only a front to a “treasure hunting” activity in the area.
“Our permit is for site development of a subdivision. There is no treasure hunting involved. As far as the development is concern, we have all the necessary permits and requirements. We also have the hauling permit from the provincial government. The hauling was for us to dispose of the loose soil and not for quarrying,” Dela Cerna said.
Dela Cerna, however, clarified that the site development is currently halted, not because of the CDO, but because of the continuous rain.
“It so happened that there were fissures and cracks noted near it but the development has nothing to do with it. WestGreenandGateshas already contracted the services of a geoscience expert to assess the area,” said Dela Cerna.
Personnel from the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (Penro) have asked the Toledo City government to stop the site development in Barangay Ilihan after a minor landslide happened.