The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has called out the local government unit (LGU) of Dauis, saying that it is the municipality’s responsibility to execute the relocation of Badjao’s living along the town’s coastline.
Authorities had earlier pinpointed the Badjao community particularly in Barangay Totolan, Dauis as among causes of the degradation of water conditions off the seaside village due to the lack of garbage disposal areas and proper sanitation procedures.
According to Eusalem Quiwag, officer-in-charge of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office, the DENR will not be carrying out the relocation as it is the responsibility of the municipality’s LGU.
Dauis Mayor Miriam Sumaylo for her part said that the LGU has already allocated a relocation site for the Badjaos.
However, the Badjaos whose livelihood includes fishing have not moved to the relocation site as the area is located further inland.
Sumaylo said that they are wary of human rights issues should they force the Badjaos to evacuate.
The mayor also admitted that they are having problems with the continued ballooning of the Badjao community’s population which is now at approximately 1,200.
For now, the LGU has been limited to only keep on urging the Badjaos to relocate as part of the government’s bid to maintain cleanliness of waters surrounding the town, Sumaylo said. (ad)