DILG says water discoloration in El Nido needs scientific check
Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III said there is a need to “scientifically check” the discoloration of the water in El Nido that might have been affected by oil discharges from motor boats. “Ang gusto na lang natin tingnan, which is scientific is ‘ yong discoloration ng tubig kasi may epekto yata sa tubig dahil sa lumalabas na langis sa mga bangka,” Densing said in his live social media broadcast posted on Sunday. He said scientific findings are needed to determine what is causing the water discoloration, which can be seen on the beach. Densing said the local government unit (LGU) of El Nido and the residents have been very cooperative in ensuring that environmental law compliances are strictly enforced. “Very cooperative ang mga tao dito pati sila mayor (Nieves Rosento). I think, sa aking pananaw lang ano, baka hindi naman kailangang isara ang El Nido. Disiplinado po ang tao dito, ‘yong tinatawag nating governance ay nasusunod dito. Lahat ng tao dito nakikisama kung ano ang dapat ayusin,” the DILG official said. Densing noted that a municipal local government officer in El Nido told him that the beach fronting Bacuit Bay was “not as clean as it is now in the past,” since structures then were encroaching in the easement or salvage zone. He made sure in his live broadcast that people watching would see how the beach is clean now of unwanted structures. “Political will po ‘yan. Nagmula ‘yan kay Presidente (Rodrigo) Duterte, sa mga ahensya ng gobyerno, at nararamdaman ‘ yan ng ating mga lokal na opisyales kaya sila ay sumusunod. In other words, simple lang naman ang gusto ni Presidente Duterte – may batas tayo, sundin yan. Hindi puwedeng kanya-kanya,” he pointed out. He said he was happy to see how El Nido has changed since the crackdown on establishments violating the law on easement zone was implemented. Densing added they also visited the beach area in Barangay Corong-Corong, El Nido, where 70 structures used to breach the easement zone, but now, only 11 have not demolished. “Yong 11 humingi lang nang ilang araw na palugit para tanggalin iyong kanilang mga structures. Nakakatuwa dahil nagbabago na rin ‘yong ating mga kababayan,” he said. What is needed, he stated, is for residents of El Nido to work together with the LGU to maintain the current state of the coastal areas that have been freed of obstructions. He said the DILG is going around famous tourism sites in the country to make sure that local government authorities are doing their jobs in implementing environmental laws. “Alam niyo po ang El Nido will have a very good future in terms of tourism development. Nabanggit ko nga kay mayor na, ‘mayor wag niyo lang kalimutan na i-develop ang El Nido… dumami ang turista, pero wag din kalimutan na dapat ang tao din ay mag-benepisyo sa paglago ng ekonomiya. Sa dami ng turistang pumupunta dito, dapat wala ng mahihirap,” he said. On November 28, Environment Sec. Roy Cimatu, Tourism Sec. Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, DILG Sec. Eduardo Año and other government officials are visiting El Nido to hold a dialogue about the clean-up drive with local government officials.
In this file photo taken by Palawan News a few months ago, heavy equipment from the provincial government can be seen helping the El Nido LGU in the removal of structures that infringed on the easement zone.