A partnership was inked yesterday for the mobilization of communities in cleaning Panglao waters and enlisting active participation in the actual clean up, as well as in implementing and preparing plans to sustain a clean Panglao in the years to come.
Gov. Edgar Chatto expressed full commitment to balancing development and sustainability agenda for Bohol as he led in the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Local Government Unit-Bohol Association of Hotels, Restaurants and Resorts-Panglao Island Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DENR-LGU-BAHRR-PICCI) Adopt an Estero/Waterbody Program.
Other signatories were Dauis Mayor Miriam Sumaylo, Panglao Mayor Pedro Fuertes, Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) Regional Director (RD) William Cuñado, DENR RD Eduardo Inting, Department of Tourism (DOT-7) RD Shalimar Tamano, Rommel Gonzales for BAHRR and PICCI, and Board Member Ricky Masamayor.
“We do not need laws, regulations, or even reminders if we truly love Bohol,” Gov. Edgar Chatto said, referring to the role of enforcement agencies, investors, and Boholanos during yesterday’s formidable show of force to make sustainable tourism happen for Bohol.
Earlier, Chatto led provincial heads, national agencies, municipal and barangay officials for the Panglao-Dauis-Tagbilaran City send-off for the synchronized coastal cleanup, the first of a series of similar activities.
The governor reiterated full Provincial Government support to LGUs in the implementation of laws.
He added that “development is a balancing act as its consequences bring displacement.” Therefore, he said, “Our role is to preserve the present for the future generations.”
The team also inspected the shores of Alona after the short send-off ceremony for said clean-up drive.
The clean-up is Information, Education and Communication (IEC) strategy to remind everybody of everybody’s respective roles in protecting Bohol; hence, making it a consistent activity.
A few days ago, Gov. Chatto has issued an aide-memoire to not lose track of the policy actions on environmental distress and other concerns that now haunt what is viewed as the image of Bohol tourism, the Island of Panglao.
The actions should be completed by a systematic monitoring and evaluation, with strict compliance deadlines “given teeth” by calibrated disciplinary measures or penalties to get the desired outcomes, the governor said in the set of reminders.
The governor would want a no-nonsense application of the interventions, all contained in his aide-memoire, as agreed in the critical conferences he called with the concerned government agencies and key stakeholders.
A written aid to the memory, the aide-memoire summarizes the key points in the meetings and reminds of the actions to do.
Policy actions are to be made by responsible agencies with timelines on the pressing concerns of waste water management, easement, zoning and protection zone, solid waste management, and mandatory submission of tourist arrival data, among others.
Last week, the EMB provided the LGUs of Panglao and Dauis the complete list of establishments with notices of violations (NOVs) concerning waste water management.
The EMB is a bureau attached to the DENR.
Starting this month, there will be level-off testing of water samples (similar area and time of sampling) by the EMB and Provincial Health Office (PHO) to address the concern of different results.
Meetings of the Panglao, Dauis and Tagbilaran Executive Council (PaDTEC) were called by the governor in the past two weeks to coordinate efforts for vigorous and sustained enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies.
Chatto issued the aide-memoire to, among others, Acting Mayor Pedro Fuertes of Panglao; Mayor Miriam Sumaylo, Dauis; Mayor John Geesnell Yap II, Tagbilaran City; Regional Director William Cuñado, DENR-EMB; Regional Director Halimar Hofer Tamano, Department of Tourism (DOT); and Officer-in-charge Eusalem Quiwag, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO).
As agreed in the meetings attended by the DENR-EMB and other national agencies, LGUs and key stakeholders, the policy actions stipulated hereunder have likewise to be pursued. (JANETV/PGBh/EDCom with reports from Leah Marchil and Ven Arigo)