By Mike Crismundo
BUTUAN CITY – The regional director of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) here disclosed that 133 business establishments in Siargao Island reportedly did not possess Environment Compliance Certificates (ECCs).
At the yearend media briefing here, DENR Region 13 head Felix S. Alicer said that the agency will be forming an environment-tourism task force to look into reports that 133 businesses in the famous tourism hub did not have ECCs.
He said some of these establishments were resorts that were non-compliant even with simple government policies, including environmental requirements.
Alicer added that his office, along with officials of the provincial government, have pledged to join hands in addressing the initial findings of the DENR 13 Environment Management Bureau (EMB) on these erring establishments.
An initial finding by the DENR-EMB disclosed that some business establishments in the acknowledged “Paradise Island” of Siargao, particularly in the country’s surfing capital of General Luna town, were non-compliant with government laws, rules and regulations, Alicer pointed out.
He also said that Surigao del Norte Governor Sol Matugas has shown concern for the preservation and protection of environment in the island, and is closely coordinating with the agency for the protection of Siargao.
Alicer said the agency has already sent notices of violation to 133 tourism-related establishments in the island, particularly in General Luna town.
In General Luna town alone, only about 10 business establishments have been accredited by the Department of Tourism (DOT), DOT Region 13 Director Ma. Ana T. Nuguid said.
Aside from not having ECCs, some of the violations of these resorts or business establishments were operating without permits, or having no proper water or waste disposals.
The task force of the provincial government is currently conducting an on-the-ground inspection and 24/7 monitoring in the island.