The Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Caraga (DENR-13) has called on some 361 establishments on Siargao Island in Surigao del Norte, found to be violating the easement zone law to voluntarily demolish illegal structures they built on the zone or else charges would be filed against them.
DENR-Caraga director Felix Alicer made the appeal after the Task Force Siargao released a report showing 361 out of the 1,298 tourist establishments and homestays in General Luna town, were found to have extended their structures beyond the regulated 20-meter shore-to-land easement which is set aside by law for public access.
Alicer heads the newly formed task force that conducted a 14-day inspection on Siargao Island, the country’s surfing capital.
Alicer said his office would start issuing notices of violation and show-cause orders this week “with request” for owners and operators of tourism establishments to voluntarily demolish the structures that encroached on the easement regulations of the government.
Alicer appealed to the local government officials and business sector of Siargao to cooperate with the DENR efforts to clean up the tourist island of environmental violators.
The DENR earlier identified the lack of sewage and wastewater treatment facilities as contributors to the environmental problems on the island.
Siargao Island, considered crown jewel of Caraga’s tourism, is composed of the towns of General Luna, Dapa, Del Carmen,Pilar, Burgos, San Isidro, Santa Monica, San Benito and Socorro.
The crackdown on violators of environmental laws and easement and building rules in Siargao and other tourist spots in the country came after the government vowed to clean up Boracay. By CLC