The El Nido municipal government vowed to toughen up the environmental law compliance of businesses that are catering to its tourism industry.
Mayor Nieves Rosento said this after the town was recently placed in “hot water” due to the continuing non-compliance of several establishments, particularly the laws on wastewater management, coastal easement, and solid waste.
She said a special monitoring body will also be formed as part of a national task force that will run after business establishments that will continue to defy environmental laws and cause the degradation of the environment.
The national body will be headed by Usec. Epimaco Densing III of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
“Nakita naman ng Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) na malaki ang ipinagbago ng water quality ng El Nido mula noong hinigpitan natin ang monitoring,” Rosento said this week.
Earlier, the DENR MIMAROPA said the level of fecal coliform in the main beach of Bacuit Bay, El Nido, within Barangays Masagana, Maligaya, and Corong-Corong has reached normal levels following seven months of easement zone cleanup, Henry Adornado, DENR regional director, said in a statement.
Rosento also added that as part of their compliance with environmental and tourism laws, the municipal government also ordered recently the temporary closure of 22 travel and tour agencies and six hotels and restaurants for non-compliance of local ordinances.
Meanwhile, El Nido municipal administrator RJ Dela Calzada said the demolition is still on-going in Corong-Corong as residents failed to “self-demolish” within the two-week period they were given by the LGU.
“Sana mag self-demolish na lang sila o mag-voluntary closure sila kung sa tingin nila na hindi na sila maka-comply,” dela Calzada said.
On November 12, tourism secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said that she recommended the closure of non-compliant business establishments in El Nido to President Rodrigo Duterte.
Puyat said she wrote to the El Nido municipal government in September 2018, urging them to address the easement issues and environmental woes but she never got a reply.
A meeting was held Wednesday by the El Nido LGU officials headed by Rosento and Vice Mayor Leonor Corral, with Sec. Puyat, Sec. Eduardo Ano of the DILG and Sec. Roy Cimatu of the DENR.
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