DENR-Region 4B


R4B el nido resort illegal lumber web


The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has uncovered widespread violation of environmental laws following a crackdown on commercial establishments in El Nido, Palawan for water pollution.

Task Force El Nido, an inter-agency structure created by DENR to clean-up Bacuit Bay in this resort town, reported that while checking businesses for compliance with environmental and easement zone regulations, it has also chanced upon illegally cut lumber being used in construction.

Last Wednesday, a Task Force member from Palawan Council for Sustainable Development apprehended some 400 board feet of ipil and bayuto, which appeared to have been kept for quite some time within the premises of Green Monkey Beach Resort in Barangay Maligaya.

The following day, Thursday, the Task Force apprehended another 320 board feet of ipil, which was being used to build Mutualla Hotel, owned by a certain Brigitte Bustamante in Sitio Marimegmeg, Barangay Corong-Corong. Stumps of trees that were cut to clear the area under construction were also discovered.

The cutting of premium hard wood species such as ipil and bayuto is strictly prohibited under the Forestry Code of the Philippines, Executive Order 23 or the total log ban issued by President Benigno Aquino, and the National Integrated Protected Areas Act. After ipil, bayuto is now the new favorite among builders in El Nido.

All the confiscated lumber in the two cases have been turned over to the Protected Area Office and their owners shall be charged accordingly.

Eighty per cent (80%) of establishments which were inspected so far were found to have no wastewater discharge permits from the DENR.

Lack of proper waste water disposal was confirmed by a local government report, indicating that about 70 per cent of commercial establishments failed to disludge their septic tanks on a regular basis.

“The disregard of environmental laws in El Nido is overwhelming,” laments DENR MIMAROPA Regional Director Natividad Bernardino.

“If we do not act decisively as soon as possible, this beautiful place may end up as another cesspool town,” she adds. ###