Cimatu Started Looking at Violators of Environmental Laws, Rules and Regulations in Siargao

Manila Bulletin, March 23, 2018 | Go to article overview

Cimatu Started Looking at Violators of Environmental Laws, Rules and Regulations in Siargao


By Mike Crismundo

BUTUAN CITY - In an effort to protect and preserve the amazing beauty of the so called "Paradise Island" of Siargao, Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu today started looking at violators of the environmental laws, rules and regulations.

Cimatu ordered the regional directors, officers and technical men of the DENR Caraga Region 13 and Environment and Management Bureau (EMB) to "go on the ground" and physically check all the business establishments or resorts in that Pacific-Ocean-facing island if they are "environment compliant."

Cimatu's order specifically mentioned the strict protection of landscape and seascape in that island, surrounded by nine municipalities, with close to 100,000 inhabitants.

Under Proclamation 902 in 1996, former president Fidel Ramos declared Siargao Island and its terrestrial, wetland and marine areas as protected areas under the category of protected landscape and seascape, home to birds such as the tarictic, Rufous hornbill, Philippine magpie-robin, and many other endemic flora and fauna.

Aside from being the country's surfing capital and game fishing hub of the world's best surfers and anglers, the island also became globally known in early 1980s because of its amazing beauty, with fine beaches located in its islands and islets, rock formations and numerous natural attractions and spectacular views within the famous island in Surigao del Norte, in this part of Northeastern Mindanao or Caraga region.

Cimatu's order to regional and local officials of the DENR focused on Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and Environmental Impact Statement System, to include the Environmental Compliance Certificates (ECCs).

On Feb. 20, 2018, Surigao del Norte Gov. Sol F. Matugas already called a convergence meeting with all concerned line agencies of the government and the province's department heads for the continuous protection of Siargao Island, so it will not become another Boracay, currently confronted with controversy due to noncompliance of environmental laws. …

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