Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy Cimatu has again given Panglao resort owners six months to rid the town’s shoreline of illegal structures which have encroached on the 20-meter easement zone after his first deadline was not met.
Cimatu, through a drone footage, has been made aware of the non-compliance of some resort owners to clear the resort island’s beaches of illegal structures during a briefing held last week, said Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Charlie Fabre.
“Gihatagan mi ni Secretary og six months to comply para ipatuman tong easement sa Panglao…Makita sa among briefing, kay gi-drone namo ang progress so nakita ni Secretary na gamay lang ang ni-voluntary og remove,” Fabre said.
Cabinet officials including Cimatu, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia and Interior Secretary Eduardo Año met in Bohol to discuss Panglao’s environmental issues following the inauguration of the Bohol Panglao International Airport last week.
The briefing was conducted after the DENR’s first six-month ultimatum to have structures along the salvage zone demolished was not met. The order was issued by Cimatu in March after he himself inspected the kilometer-long Alona Beach in Panglao.
According to Fabre, Cimatu also gave local authorities and resort owners three months to “contain water pollution in Panglao.”
“During the briefing dunay nakita na gamay na pagsaka sa level sa pollution nilapas sa minimum na 100 pero ingon si Secretary na dili man sad kaayo alarming, mi-lapas lang… Ang Environmental Management Bureau, DENR ug MGB mag-join hands sa pag implement ug pag-monitor sa water quality,” he said.
Last week, the Department of Tourism banned swimming in Alona Beach after “high levels” of coliform were found in waters in the area.
A reported 16,000 fecal coliform level in Panglao waters prompted Puyat to declare that some areas in the town were not fit for swimming.
However, previous tests done and the most recent validation test conducted last November 27 showed much lower coliform count level.
The November 27 data showed that fecal coliform count was at 33, a big drop from the previously reported 16,000 fecal coliform level. (A. Doydora)