DENR serves notices to El Nido violators

Arzaga seeks clarification from the DILG on the liability of the El Nido local government when it allowed establishments to operate without the necessary environmental permits. (file photo)

An initial batch of 32 establishments along the coastal areas of El Nido were asked by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to self-demolish, as the department pressed on Monday with its clean-up drive in the prime tourist town.

The 32 establishments were determined by the DENR as having violated the easement law which prohibits any construction within three meters from the high tide line.

The DENR regional office for Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan (MIMAROPA) also said in a press statement they will soon start issuing notices of violation against residences and establishments built in classified  “timberland” areas.

The notice to vacate cited the establishment owners’ violation of the three-meter easement zone in urban areas provided in the Water Code of the Philippines and National Integrated Protected Areas System Act of 1992 and Proclamation No. 32, series of 1998, both of which prohibit the occupation, utilization, and construction of any structure in a protected area like El Nido.

The following were given notices to vacate and self-demolish portion/s of their businesses encroaching on the three-meter easement zones — Amigo’s Inn, Angel Nido, Angel Wish, Caalan Beach Resort, Cadlao Resort, Cadlao Resort Extension, Café Athena, Chislyk, El Nido Beach Resort, El Nido Boutique and Art Café, El Nido Garden, El Nido Reef Strand Resort, Golden Monkey, Hidden Beach Resort, Hadefe Beach Resort, Isla Expeditions, Jarace Grill, Kalinga Beach Resort, La Salanganne, Lally and Abet Extension, Linda Leona Store, Mezzanine El Nido, Nido Bay Inn, Organic Spa, Palawan Pawnshop, Prince’s, Relucio Inn, Rosanna’s Pension, Shorepass Lodge, Sonny Sails, The Nest, and TTD Store.

“This is just the first wave of notices we will serve. In the coming days, we shall serve similar notices to establishments and households illegally built on timberland,” DENR MIMAROPA Legal Division Chief Atty. Gandhi Flores, said.

DENR MIMAROPA Regional Director Natividad Bernardino said most of El Nido’s establishment has been cooperating with their office on the ongoing campaign by the department to clean up the tourist town of environmental violators.

“We understand this is a difficult process, but you made it easier because of your cooperation. We need to follow the laws.  The changes we are doing in El Nido now is for the long-term benefit of everyone,” Bernardino said.

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