By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said outgoing local executives who have failed to implement environmental laws are not yet off the hook.
Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and Local Government Units Concerns Benny Antiporda said DENR has issued cease-and-desist orders (CDOs) to 10 hotels and restaurants found polluting Bacuit Bay in El Nido, Palawan.
“There are only a minimal number of local government units who followed the instruction to temporarily revoke the mayor’s permit of violators, that’s why there is a need to show some force on irresponsible local executives,” Antiporda said.
The response of local government to temporarily suspend the mayor’s permit of erring establishments in their respective political jurisdiction once the DENR has submitted its lists of violators is crucial to prevent further contamination of waterways, he added.
“We’re expecting full support coming from our local government once we have submitted our lists of violators in their respective areas. We expect them to act by temporarily suspending the mayor’s permit so as to prevent the wastewater discharge from contaminating our waterways,” Antiporda said.
DENR-Region 4B (Mimaropa) has issued CDOs to El Nido Sea Shell Resorts and Hotel in Brgy. Buena Suerte; Doublegem Beach Resort and Hotel, Buko Beach Resort, Panorama Resort (Mangonana Inc.), Four Seasons Seaview Hotel, and Stunning Republic Beach Resort, in Brgy. Corong-corong; and Sava Beach Bar/Sava Nest Egg Inc., El Nido Beach Hotel, and The Nest El Nido Resorts and Spa, Inc. in Brgy. Masagana for violation of the Clean Water Act.
El Nido is one of the country’s tourism hot spots undergoing massive rehabilitation along with Boracay and Manila Bay.
Antiporda clarified, however, that the enforcement of the Clean Water Act applies not only on the establishments in Palawan but in all parts of the country.
It is on this light that the DENR official is calling on the local government units to act immediately on establishments issued with CDOs by the DENR by temporarily canceling their permits to compel them to comply with environmental laws and avoid further degradation of the environment.
“If the outgoing officials still have the chance to prove their worth to their constituents before they leave, then they should do it. Otherwise, we will file cases against them if they have neglected their duty to enforce environmental laws” Antiporda said.