Narra mayor Gerandy Danao has not yet issued a closure order against an alleged illegal land reclamation project in Barangay Bato-Bato despite initial confirmation of “dump and fill” activities to establish a port in the area.
Danao, during his surprise inspection on Monday, was firm that he has not issued a mayor’s permit against the unnamed project but stopped short of issuing a foreclosure.
“Sa pagkakaalam ko, walang mga papel na para dito. Sa ngayon, hindi ko pa alam kaya pinuntahan ko mismo kasi gusto kong malaman,” Danao said.
Representatives from the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD), Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (MENRO), and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), who were also present during the visit, all confirmed that no permits or clearances were issued allowing the construction of the port project.
“Wala kaming alam na nabigyan ‘yan ng permit or kung may endorsement man lang ba ‘yon,” a senior local official who did not want to be named said.
Prior to establishing an infrastructure project, the contractor must comply with getting a Strategic Environment Plan (SEP) clearance from the Environmentally Critical Areas Network (ECAN) board; environment compliance certificate (ECC) from Environment Management Bureau (EMB) of DENR; certificate from Land Reclamation Authority (LRA); and a municipal mayor’s permit.
The laborers found to be working on-site during the surprise inspection refused to answer any of the questions asked by Palawan News pertaining to the owner and operator of the said project.
As of press time, Danao has not categorically ordered its closure and instead only said that “Kung napatunayang walang permit, puwede talaga ‘yang ipasara.”