By Dhel Nazario
Residents of a municipality in Batangas decried the collection of an “environment user’s fee” by the local government for those going to the Matabungcay Beach.
In a press conference in Pasay City, Dennis Ilagan, a resident of Barangay Santiago in Lian, Batangas, said a letter was sent to Mayor Isagani Bolompo dated April 8, 2019 “questioning the legalities of Resolution No. 2016-013.”
In the letter, Ilagan requested a copy of the minutes of the meeting held at the Matabungkay, Kandahar Beach Resort for the resolution as well as “proof that there was indeed a public hearing.”
He also asked for a certification from the local chairman that there was a public hearing done for the purpose of the said fee. The “environment user’s fee” is P25. Looking up Matabungkay Beach in a social media site would show that there is no entrance fee to the beach but an “environmental fee.”
Ilagan questioned as to where the collected fees are allocated and requested an expenditure made by the local government. Mayor Bolompo has yet to reply to their request.
Ilagan previously questioned an ongoing project within their barangay by the Sta. Lucia Land Corporation which was later issued a Cease and Desist Order by the Department on Environment and Natural Resources for lack of the necessary permit.