ALBURQUERQUE, Bohol – An online signature campaign has been launched urging the local government of the Municipality of Alburquerque and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to stop a controversial beach development project that will affect one of the few remaining mangrove forests in Bohol.
As of 11 a.m. Monday, 873 have signed the petition at https://www.change.org/p/alburquerque-save-sante-fe-beach-alburquerque-bohol?redirect=false , which was started by Vera Villocido Gesite.
“The Santa Fe Beach Development in Alburquerque, Bohol already started without the necessary permits and Environment Compliance Certificate in compliance with the National Integrated Protected Areas System or NIPAS Law of 1992. Such act is rape of the mangroves! This development needs to be stopped or scrapped because it will destroy the last frontier of mangroves which are protected by a national law declaring the Alburquerque-Loay-Loboc Protected Landscapes and Seascapes,” the online petition states.
The online signature campaign against the beach development of Belian, which is also posted on Facebook, has been gaining public attention due to the purported “adverse impact it poses” to the marine sanctuaries, including the so-called Bohol Marine Triangle.
An earlier interview with Alburquerque Mayor Don Ritchie Buates with dyRD Balita revealed that the project along Sante Fe Beach which is being funded by the Belian group has been stopped due to the project proponent’s failure to secure an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) from the DENR.
Buates also clarified that the project of the Belian Group should not be mistaken as part of another development, which is called Albur Mangrove Forest Boardwalk which traverses along another stretch of the municipality’s mangrove beaches.
The boardwalk project that is being initiated by the municipal government is still in the process of securing the necessary environmental clearances from the DENR, contrary to public misconception, according to Buates.
Buates explained to dyRD Balita that the project poses no damaging impact on the environment which would instead put the Municipality of Alburquerque in the map of tourist destinations in the province.
Buates likewise defends the project as it is expected to provide the municipality with additional revenues from tourism activities and would potentially create additional jobs for its residents.
The mayor added that local government of Alburquerque has been given the green light after a team from the PAMB-DENR conducted inspection at the site and the protected area management zone has been delineated. (KB)