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SBMA exec says SEA Games site built in protected area

Shooting range has no environmental permit, according to ecology manager

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT—A shotgun shooting range field for the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games is being built inside a protected area here without an environmental permit, an official of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) said on Thursday.

Amethya dela Llana, manager of the SBMA ecology department, said her office had issued a notice of violation against the company that the national government contracted to build the site for the shooting competition of the biennial sports event.

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In a statement, Dela Llana said CFV ARAR Contractors Phils. Inc., which won the bid to build the shooting range field, carried out “extensive clearing and grubbing operations” at the naval magazine area here.

Inside forest

She said the project was initially planned to be built for the SEA Games Clark cluster but the Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee endorsed its construction to the Subic cluster on Sept. 18.

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Days before the SEA Games’ opening on Saturday, the project has yet to be completed.

The project is inside the West Ilanin Forest, which is within a built-up area of the former explosive ordnance disposal (EOD).

The EOD was used extensively by the US Navy at the height of the Vietnam War along with the nearby ammunition pier at Camayan Point, Dela Llana said.

“While CFV ARAR Contractors Phils. Inc. is undertaking construction for a national government project, it will be held liable for the violation it committed and will be compelled by the SBMA to undergo compliance,” she said.

The SBMA issued the statement days after a video that circulated on social media showed excavating equipment dumping soil onto the project site although there was no installed signage of the project’s details.

But Dela Llana said her office issued a tree trimming and cutting permit to the contractor after an inventory.

“Of the 25 trees affected, 22 were allowed for trimming while three were allowed for cutting. The trees allowed for cutting were all gubas (Endospermum peltatum) species that were found to be leaning over the road,” she said.

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TAGS: SEA games, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority
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