Manila, Philippines – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) ordered at least 13 establishments at the resort town of Puerto Galera in Oriental Mindoro province demolished for violating laws on coastal easement zone.
Natividad Bernardino, DENR regional director in Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan), said 10 establishments in the popular diving site Sabang and three in the White Beach area will be served notices to vacate this week.
“[This means] they have to self demolish within 30 days,” Bernardino said in a telephone interview. “Otherwise, we will talk to (local governments), as they are the ones with the police power, to enforce the demolition.”
Among these establishments were resorts, hotels and dive shops found to be encroaching the coastal easement in Puerto Galera, which draws more than 300,000 foreign and local guests annually.
Last month, the DENR-Mimaropa started inspecting 559 establishments in Puerto Galera, following research findings of high coliform contamination of its waters due to improper solid and wastewater disposal.
Bernardino said the inspection was aimed at checking whether the establishments complied with environmental laws and have wastewater discharge permits, pollution control officers, permits to operate and environmental compliance certificates.
She said the DENR would issue the same notice to local businesses violating the Solid Waste Management and Clean Water Acts in the coming weeks.