Youth group hits gov't failure to guard protected areas from projects

Youth group hits gov’t’s failure to guard protected areas from projects

By: - Reporter / @luisacabatoINQ
/ 09:54 PM March 14, 2024

MANILA, Philippines — A youth group has slammed government agencies for their “gross failure” to protect the country’s national resources “in the name of job creation and tourism development projects.”

In a statement, Stewards and Volunteers for the Earth—Philippines (SAVE Ph) said that the resort development in the Chocolate Hills is an “abuse” and “brazen disregard” of laws.

READ: DILG to probe into LGUs’ role in resort’s construction in Chocolate Hills


“This is not an isolated case. It has never been and will even worsen once Charter change proposal prevails,” said Zyoen Garcia, convenor of SAVE Ph, in the statement.


“Government agencies, despite having the authority to disallow any projects encroaching or posing a threat to our protected areas, have been instrumental in such transgressions,” she added.

She further added that “with the proposal for land ownership up in the air coupled with the aggressive courting of foreign investors by the Marcos administration, we should expect that foreign ownership of land will trigger illegal land conversions and infrastructure intrusion of protected areas will only lead to more agrarian conflicts and wildlife degradation.”

READ: Chocolate Hills resort not accredited by DOT

The now-viral Captain’s Peak Resort, situated right next to the Chocolate Hills, has garnered backlash from the public as it was built near the famed tourist attraction that was declared a protected area in 1997.

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) said in a statement that it will look into the accountability of local government units in the construction of a resort within the Chocolate Hills in Bohol.

READ: Netizens share thoughts on controversial resort in Bohol’s Chocolate Hills 


The Department of Environment and Natural Resources said on Wednesday that it had already issued a temporary closure order against the resort in September 2023.

A Notice of Violation to the project proponent was also sent last January 22, it added.

Meanwhile, the Department of Tourism also clarified in a separate statement that the resort has neither accreditation nor an application for one.

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Furthermore, Senator Nancy Binay, chairperson of the Senate committee on tourism, sought an inquiry into the construction of structures within the vicinity of the Chocolate Hills.

TAGS: Chocolate Hills, Chocolate Hills resort

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