Forty-seven families squatting on mangrove and offshore areas in El Nido were recently given a notice of violation (NOV), further advising them to self-demolish their houses.
According to Alexander Mancio, protected area superintendent, 24 families with houses built within the offshore/seashore area in Barangay Corong-Corong had their first NOV.
The same, he added, was issued to 23 families who built houses within the mangrove area at Sitio Cudognon, Barangay Bebeladan.
“We advised them to vacate the area to avoid legal action. If they will not comply, we will elevate the matter to Protected Area Management Board for possible issuance of demolition order or filing of complaint,” Mancio told Palawan News in a text message on Tuesday.
The Protected Area Office, Mancio said, is concerned that the settlements will cause the further destruction of mangroves that serve as natural barrier and habitat of marine species.
Squatting or occupying any land without permit, lease, license or agreement with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources is prohibited within the El Nido-Taytay Managed Resource Protected Area (ETMRPA).
This is in violation of Section 20 of Republic Act 7586 or the National Integrated Protected Areas System Act of 1992. Under Sec. 21 of the same law, violators may face a penalty of P5,000 to P500,000 and/or imprisonment of one to six years.
Mancio said the demolition order and/or filing of complaints will be issued once the informal settlers reached third and final NOVs.