After a year, Pangasinan golf course gets ECC


LINGAYEN, Pangasinan—After almost a year of controversy, a government-initiated 18-hole golf course project has been granted an environmental compliance certificate (ECC) by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

In a Jan. 2 letter, Juan Miguel Cuna, Environmental Management Bureau director, said the ECC was issued after the provincial government had “satisfactorily complied with the requirements” for the project.

The golf course, a component of an ecotourism project of Gov. Amado Espino Jr., spans 38 hectares and covers the coastal villages of Sabangan, Estanza, Malimpuec and Capandanan here.

The ECC was issued months after the last of a series of public consultations was held in July last year.

The ECC requires the provincial government to impose measures to prevent environmental damage.

Among these are ways to prevent surface, groundwater and soil contamination; a reforestation and carbon-sink program to reduce greenhouse gas emission; and a storm water runoff management program.

Last year, Sabangan village chief Hector Fabiana said some villagers had opposed the project but that their concerns have been adequately explained during the consultations.

“They were opposing the project because they were fed wrong information about it,” Fabiana said.

Residents are primarily concerned about their water supply. But an environmental impact assessment study by  Ajanta Consultancy and Technical Services Inc. (Actsi) said the golf course would require only about 1,000 cubic meters of water a day.

Gregorio Palis, Actsi president, said three lagoons, which can store 30,500 cubic meters of water, will be built to meet the water needs of the golf course.

The golf course, which is estimated to cost P202.2 million, is part of an ecotourism zone proclaimed by President Fidel Ramos in 1997.

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