Monday, April 23, 2018

DENR orders demolition of illegal structures in Pagudpud

Staff reporter

LAOAG CITY—The Department of Environment and Natural Resources issued a final demand to Pagudpud resort owners to voluntary demolish cottages and other structures built on the foreshore area surrounding the “Blue Lagoon,” a favorite tourist destination at Brgy. Balaoi in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte.

The foreshore is a portion of the beach which spans 20 meters from the seashore. DENR Department Order No. 34, issued in 1999, states that a foreshore is “part of the shore which is alternately covered and uncovered by the ebb and flow of the tide.”

In a letter sent to at least five resort owners, Atty. Mae Jean Pedro, DENR Community Environment and Natural Resources based in Barangay Manayon, Bangui, Ilocos Norte legal consultant said that “(O)ccupying the legal easement of the 20-meter salvage zone is in violation of Article 51 of the Water Code of the Philippines (Presidential Decree 1067).

Under the law, it is prohibited for any person to stay in this zone longer than what is necessary for recreation, navigation, floatage, fishing or salvage, or to build structure of any kind within the legal easements.

The DENR identified the violators as Hannah’s Beach Resort and Convention Center owned by retired Airforce Col. Ricardo Nolasco Jr., Classique Homestay of Ruth Magarro, Cottages of Nelly Cristobal, May Anne Copeland and Corazon Espejo.

In the DENR letter, they directed and demanded the owners to voluntary demolish the cottages and other structures within 72 hours upon receipt of notice otherwise appropriate charges will be imposed to them without prior notice.

The DENR guidebook said: “The Philippine foreshore is one area where rapid development is taking place.”

“With progress comes the various problems: environmental pollution, conversion of mangroves into other uses, illegal reclamation, squatting and many more,” it said.

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