PENRO issues 594 notices of violations to Pangasinan establishments

By Ahikam Pasion

June 1, 2018, 5:04 pm

BOLINAO, Pangasinan -- The Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) has issued 594 notices of violations to establishments, ranging from residential areas to beach resorts, found violating the Water Code.

PENR Officer Raymundo Gayo, in an interview with newsmen on Wednesday, said these structures could be displaced because of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) coastal delineation program, consistent with Presidential Decree No. 1067 series of 1976, commonly known as the Philippine Water Code.

Gayo said the 594 firms are among the 811 structures found violating the Water Code.

He disclosed that four of these violators are government facilities, namely, the UP Marine Science Institute, Bolinao School of Fisheries, a rural health unit, and a barangay hall, all extending up to their respective salvage zones.

“It came out of our assessment. In fact, everything is on record and we do not discriminate, whether they are considered small or big. We give them records of violation because what we want here is how we could help one another. We are not selective but rather our approach is comprehensive in our aim to fix our beaches,” he added.

The residents, however, refused to yield as they presented their tax declarations and even showed copies of a Sangguniang Bayan resolution.

The resolution, known as Resolution No. 25 series of 1990, states that “an amnesty grant will be provided on beach settlers provided that they accomplish all pertinent documents duly prescribed by all authorities concerned, in actual possession of the land before approval of resolution, and had paid back taxes prescribed under Presidential Decree 464”.

Bolinao Mayor Noli Celeste said the local government unit has provided free legal assistance for the 700 affected families and businesses.

“We will make inquiries with our legal departments in case that they (DENR) don’t make a favorable decision for our residents,” he said.

He added that “CENRO (Community Environment and Natural Resources Office) and PENRO told us to provide our arguments, duly represented with supporting documents, so that they can reach up to the national office to resolve this matter.”

Celeste also assured that waste disposal is not an issue among the “violations” listed by the PENRO.

Meanwhile, the PENRO continues to monitor three main coastal tourist spots in the province, namely, Alaminos City, Bolinao, and San Fabian.

Alaminos City has 677 violators, three of whom are government facilities: the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources facility, Lucap Wharf, and another Rural Health Unit, said Gayo.

He added the main violation of the infrastructures is encroaching on the salvage zones.

According to Article 51 of the Water Code, shores of the seas within a zone of three meters in urban (residential) areas, 20 meters in agricultural areas, and 40 meters in forest areas, are subject to the easement of public use. (PNA)