The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on Tuesday, November 13, is set out to remove business establishments that violate environmental rules and guidelines in El Nido by the end of 2018.

DENR for Region IV-B Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan) Regional Executive Director Henry Adornado said that such move is done to protect the area and to keep it from becoming Boracay.

“We are eyeing to clear errant establishments off Bacuit Bay, hopefully by the end of the year,” Adornado said as reported by Rappler.

In February, DENR Mimaropa formed Task Force El Nido and issued 407 eviction notices to structures built on declared easement zones and forestlands.

“There were times demolition activities were put on hold due to high tide or because dump trucks and heavy equipment units used to knock down structures were used for more urgent reasons, like the cleanup of typhoon debris,” Adornado said.

The regional executive director also shared that 253 out of 289 establishments were found in violation of environmental laws in the said tourist spot. Such violations involve the failure to secure discharge permit, permit to operate and hazardous waste generator’s identification, and to designate a pollution control officer.

“They are also strictly monitored if they have corrected their violations and met the conditions set provided by the laws,” Adornado added.

Adornado said that erring establishment owners were facilitated by the regional Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) through technical conferences facilitated to correct their disregard for DENR protocol.  

“While improvements as a result of clean-up drive can now be seen and felt in El Nido there is still much to be done in the town,” Adornado said.

“Yes, we are not near the finish line but what is important is that we keep an eye even on possible violators to ensure the protection of the environment and conservation of the rich biodiversity of El Nido,” he added.

DENR Mimaropa also created similar task forces in Coron and Puerto Galera in Oriental Mindoro. They are now following what is done in El Nido to further improve the environmental integrity of the said tourist spot.

“The task forces are likewise helping the local government unit and concerned agencies in the preparation of an identified sanitary landfill area in Coron; and in the construction of a sewerage collection system and central wastewater treatment facility in Puerto Galera,” Adornado said. 

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