BY ADRIAN P. NEMES III
The owner of the resort being developed in a portion of the Sum-ag riverbank that was earlier issued a cease-and-desist order by the Bacolod City Legal Office will temporarily stop the project while his requirements are being processed.
In a letter sent to the Environmental Management Bureau by his lawyer, Arjun Calvo, businessman Andres Tacolod said they will stop any further development and operation in the area until they can secure an Environmental Compliance Certificate.
They also said that they will abide by the discharge permit requirements and will allow access to personnel of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to conduct regular inspection in the area.
EMB Region 6 director Ramar Pascua had issued a notice of violation against the resort development for non-compliance with the provisions under Presidential Decree 1586, or the Philippine Environmental Impact Statement System.
Pascua cited Section 4 of the law, that states that no person, partnership, or corporation shall undertake or operate any environmentally-critical project without an ECC.
Community Environment and Natural Resources Office head Joan Nathaniel Gerangaya said earlier that the resort development continued despite the issuance of the CDO by the CLO.
Tacolod had asked the CLO to lift the CDO on his development project and underscored several measures that they implemented so as not to damage the mangroves and the environment in the area.
In a committee hearing conducted by the Sangguniang Panlungsod Committee on Environment recently, he admitted that he had committed violations but is willing to iron it out, committee chairman Councilor Carl Lopez said.
Lopez said he told Tacolod that he needs to face the charges and pay the fines, adding that progress and development are not bad if done properly and with the right permits. He said that damage has been done, especially on the mangroves, although Tacolod vowed to replenish those that have been cut.*