Manila, Philippines – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) ordered the forcible demolition of 32 establishments in El Nido which failed to comply with a 30-day deadline to demolish portions of property encroaching on the town’s easement zone.
DENR Regional Director Natividad Bernardino, answering questions at the Provincial Board on Tuesday, May 22, said she instructed Mayor Nieves Rosento “to issue demolition orders within the week.”
“As for the 32 establishments, there are still who have not fully complied, but their deadline for compliance of self-demolition has already expired,” she emphasized.
Bernardino said 60 days have already gone by since they issued the order last March to business establishments regarding the encroachment on on the town’s 3-meter easement zone, as provided for urban areas under the Philippines’ Water Code.
However, she stressed that only 3 have fully complied. So far, 5 are not moving, while the rest have started dismantling their structures and are on different stages of completion.
“I have asked the help of the provincial government to provide the necessary heavy equipment in El Nido for them to be able to do the forcible demolition of those who haven’t complied yet,” she added.
The regional director said this move is in fulfilment of their vow to hold erring tourism establishments liable for violating various environmental laws and clean up El Nido town in Palawan in 3 to 6 months.
Provincial government spokesperson Gil Acosta Jr. said heavy equipment was available for dispatching to assist the DENR in the forcible demolition, in coordination with the El Nido municipal police.
“We will provide everything they need to enforce the law,” he said.