Mayor stops submarine tour off Mactan after undersea vessel smashes coral reef
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza issued on Monday a cease and desist order against the operation of the Yellow Submarine and suspended the business permit of its operator, the Cebu Yellow Submarine Undersea Tour Corp, after its undersea vessel smashed a coral reef off Mactan.
Radaza said she issued the order based on the video posted on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/wathc?v=XoJSZkbhocA) showing that the Yellow submarine had hit a coral reef in Mactan seawaters.
The video was uploaded on April 24 by a certain Satoshi Toyoda and has generated 3,917 views as of 6:08 p.m. Monday.
The mayor said she suspended the company’s business permit, pointing out that the Yellow submarine “caused damage to the corals and could destroy the marine habitat within the municipal waters of the city,” in violation of the laws and of the terms and conditions of the business permit.
The company is also facing investigation for possible violation of the Republic Act 8550, the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998.
“You are hereby ordered to Show Cause within five days from receipt of the order why your Mayor’s Permit should not be permanently revoked,” Radaza told the submarine operator.
She said the CDO superseded the notice of violation issued on April 25 by the city government to which the company failed to respond.
Teodulo Ybañez, Lapu-Lapu City administrator and chairman of the city’s business inspection board, on Friday had issued a notice of violation against the Yellow Submarine.
Ybañez also directed the operator to comply with the requirements of various agencies such as the Maritime Industry Association, the Coast Guard and the Department of Tourism, among others, within three working days upon receipt of the notice.
The company’s failure to comply with the requirements could warrant the cancellation of its business permit, he added.
Environmentalists have called on the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to conduct a full-blown investigation of the reef smashing.
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