Villar hits PAMB over Chocolate Hills resort

Villar hits PAMB over Chocolate Hills resort

/ 05:02 PM March 17, 2024

Chocolate Hills resort not accredited by DOT youth protected areas denr closure order

Captain’s Peak Garden and Resort in Sagbayan, Bohol (LEO UDTOHAN / INQUIRER)

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Cynthia Villar on Sunday said that the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) should be held accountable for permitting the construction of a resort in the Chocolate Hills of Bohol, despite the site being designated as a protected area.


In a radio interview, Villar noted that in her initial assessment, the PAMB should not have allowed the construction of  Captain’s Peak Garden and Resort in the first place.


“I am wondering how that (resort) was able to pass through the PAMB,” she said in Filipino over at dzBB, explaining that the board should have had control over development projects on Chocolate Hills.

The PAMB is composed of non-governmental organizations, the local government unit (LGU), and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), said Villar, who is also the head of the Senate committee on the environment and natural resources.

“It’s like they don’t understand that it’s a protected area.”

“But the one who manages that is the PAMB and it is composed of everybody including the DENR so they can’t say that they did not know about it,” she added.

As for building structures on Chocolate Hills, Villar said that such structures must be intended to enhance the protected area and not destroy it — buildings should also not be for business purposes.

“It is not natural that there is a resort in a protected area,” the senator further said.


Villar and Senator Nancy Binay previously expressed interest to visit the controversial resort in Sagbayan town to inspect the site.

Villar also earlier said that she will file a resolution to the Senate regarding the matter so they can conduct a hearing.

On March 13, the DENR said that it had already issued a temporary closure order against the resort in September 2023 while the Department of Tourism said in a separate statement that the resort is not an accredited tourism establishment.

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Meanwhile, the Department of the Interior and Local Government has formed a task force to investigate the construction of the resort.

TAGS: Chocolate Hills, Cynthia Villar

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