environmental issues

Malay LGU suspends new construction, renovation along Boracay main roads

Jun Aguirre
Malay LGU suspends new construction, renovation along Boracay main roads

IDYLL. Local tourists wade along the beach of Boracay. KARCHER


Land within 15 meters from main road is protected forest land, PENRO-Aklan head reiterates

BORACAY, Philippines – The local government of Malay town in Aklan suspended on Wednesday, January 4, new construction and renovation projects along the main road of this resort island. Permits that were earlier granted were also revoked.

The development followed the Aklan Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office’s (PENRO) reiteration of its opposition to new projects within 15 meters from the center of the main road.

The Malay Zoning Department announced the revocation of permits on its official Facebook page on January 4. It was not clear how many permits the department had earlier issued.

PENRO-Aklan Officer Merlene Aborka’s letter on September 20, 2022 reiterated that land “within 15 meters from the center of the road easement” is classified as protected forest land under then-president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s Presidential Proclamation 1064 of 2006.

“These areas have not been issued with any forest tenurial instrument that authorizes such construction/renovation/use of the area to such structure,” Aborka stressed.

She also pointed out that part of the uncompleted intervention under the 2019 Boracay Action Plan for Boracay Island Rehabilitation is clearing a six-meter-wide space on both sides from the center of the road.

REHABILITATION. Boracay’s medium term action plan is still incomplete two years after the Boracay Interagency Rehabilitation Management Group (BIARMG) rolled it out. Rappler/Tachyon

The action plan was crafted after then-president Rodrigo Duterte ordered a six-month closure of the world-famous resort island to stem worsening environmental woes.

The Malay Zoning Department listed other regulations:

  • No new construction must be allowed
  • No expansion nor addition of a second story and higher is allowed
  • As-built without building permits cannot apply
  • Only renovations based on an approved plan will be considered.

It also urged lot owners to identify the actual status of their land with the Cadastral Lot Equivalent, a sketch plan based on a Cadastral Survey, and an Alienable and Disposable or A&D Certification from PENRO-Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Malay Mayor Frolibar S. Bautista informed the Sangguniang Bayan or town council, the municipal engineer, and the town’s zoning administrator-designate of the PENRO decision in a letter dated November 4, 2022.

He also reminded Malay officials and agencies to work together to cooperate with the Boracay Island Rehabilitation mandate.

However, a few months after issuing its letter, the PENRO still awaits a green light from the government of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. for the continued rehabilitation effort. – Rappler.com

Boracay: Paradise reborn?

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