PRA: Cordova reclamation ‘illegal’
The Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) said the Cordova Reclamation Project should be stopped because it was “illegally undertaken.”
Cordova Mayor Adelino Sitoy, meanwhile, agreed to pay a P35,000 fine to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for failure to submit a compliance report on the reclamation project’s Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC).
In a March 12 letter, the PRA in Manila emphasized that municipalities are not allowed to undertake reclamation projects without entering into contract with the PRA.
PRA, which said the initial 10-hectare Cordova reclamation was “illegally undertaken, asked the DENR to forfeit the ECC issued for the project.
“The municipality failed to comply with all the (PRA) requirements and despite repeated requests to comply, the municipality failed to do so. Instead, it continued to implement the projects until its completion,” the report to Environment Secretary Ramon Paje said.
Meanwhile, Regional Director Fernando Quililan of the DENR- Environment and Management Bureau (DENR-7) said he would not issue an order to halt the project unless ordered by Manila.
Quililan said he will submit a chronological report about the issues in Cordova to the DENR central office “so they will also know what’s happening, especially since it’s an emerging issue.”
A roll-on-roll-off pier was built in Cordova this year, part of a 10-hectare reclamation project undertaken by the Province of Cebu with Cordova town.
A bigger plan for a 132-reclamation will depend on drawing in more investors.
Based on the compliance evaluation report conducted by the EMB last March 14, proponents of the Cordova reclamation failed to submit tree planting areas one year after the ECC was released and were not able to limit their operation within the area of the ro-ro project.
A March 14 Notice of Violation was issued by EMB and a technical confernce was held March 30 in the EMB office with Cordova Mayor Sitoy.
Sitoy agreed to pay a P35,000 fine and submit an accomplishment report of compliance with ECC conditions and a revised site development plan.
Quililan will decide whether to lift or retain the Notice of Violation (NOV) on Cordova.
When asked if the PRA letter would affect the decision, Quililan refused to comment.
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