Time has come to close resorts, not only in Panglao but entire Bohol, violating laws and local regulations as there had been enough warning already.
This came from NEDA Director-General Ernesto Pernia after receiving reports on violations of environmental laws, and rules and regulations by resort owners in Panglao with the “permissiveness of local officials”.
While the discovery of violations started in Panglao, all resorts in entire Bohol are covered by the shutdown order.
Pernia said that when he comes, together with DENR Sec. Roy Cimatu and possibly DILG Sec. Año, he would meet with local government officials and resort owners and that compliance is already in place.
“Kahibaw ka nga ang Presidente karon is serious. Gusto niya action agad. Gusto namo nga inig anha namo dinha ni Sec. Cimatu and basin apil si Sec. Eduardo, gusto namo nga magmeeting mi sa local government officials and resort owners. At saka wa nay kinahanglan kasab-an pa, i-admonish or i-charge nga local official,” Pernia said.
However, there is no definite schedule yet as to when they would come, but Pernia said he expects the resorts to be ready by then as they had been given enough warning already.
Pernia said the DENR-7 regional director had already ordered the resorts to comply, based on Cimatu’s order also.
He said he had also talked with Gov. Edgar Chatto about the issue already and that it had been conveyed already that the resorts that failed to comply with regulations would be closed outright upon their inspection.
He added that the requirement for sewerage connection should have been complied by each resort already and there should be no coliform contamination on the seawaters already when they come.
“Kinahanglan inig anha namo diha, nalimpyo na, na-comply na yong requirements sa sewerage connection. Kinahanglan nalimyohan na nang mga coliform diha. Kanang gigawas nga mga coliform dinha, kinahanglan nalimpyohan na na. Dili ko gusto moanha nga naa pay himoon. Kay kanang warning, this should be enough. Kinahanglan mo-action na sila diha. Kinahanglan inig anha namo diha nasunod na tong mga requirements, nya nalimpyo na ang mga hugaw dinha,” Pernia said.
Pernia also pointed out that local officials should also be held accountable by mere existence of violations of the regulations by any resort as it would prove their permissiveness.
He said the local officials should not just be suspended, but removed from office for “non-performance of duties, and gross negligence”.
Pernia said that the message from Cimatu that had been relayed by the DENR regional director to the resorts should have been enough notice.
He said that NEDA covers all issues concerning development and environmental issues as it is an overarching ministry.
Pernia added that he is concerned as he is the chair of the National Land Use Committee of the NEDA board which is chaired by the president.
“I also have jurisdiction over this matters- -yong mga wanton building in any place, walang proper permit at saka violations. Apil na sa National Land Use Committee which is chaired by NEDA, by me currently,” Pernia explained.
He pointed out that resorts have “to follow the rules and regulations and they have to remedy whatever they have done”.
“Knowingly, yes, ilang gi-violate ang mga regulations by the permissiveness of our local government executives. Ma-charge ang local officials nga mihatag sa permits. Unya kanang mga naka-violate nga mga investors they will still have to remedy whatever wrong they have done,” according to Pernia.
He further said that one of the conditions in approving the construction of the New Bohol Airport in Panglao was the assurance that Panglao, as an eco-tourism destination, should be preserved.
This goes with the conditions that there should be no high-rise buildings such as those that go beyond six storeys, and provision for sewerage “which is very important”, among others.
“Nisugot ana si Gov. Chatto, mao nang wa na mi mo-object sa building of the airport,” according to Pernia.
He added that in the communication from Cimatu, through the regional director of DENR-7, not only Panglao but all Bohol resorts have to comply.
“In other words, yong sa Anda at saka other resorts in Bohol have to comply already. Di mahimong Panglao lang ang tan-awn,” according to Pernia.
He said that right now, they don’t have the complete list of the violators yet, but he accepted the suggestion to start with the list available at the Office of the Building Official in each area.