Sta. Fe signs MOA with DENR to protect the sea

By: Rosalie O. Abatayo June 09,2018 - 10:03 PM

IN HOPES that they will not suffer the fate that befell Boracay Island, tourism stakeholders and the local government unit (LGU) of Sta. Fe town in northern Cebu inked a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on Saturday, June 9.

The MOA spelled out the municipality’s commitment to conserve and protect its beaches.

Santa Fe Tourism Enterprise Association, Inc. (Safetea), an organization of hotels, restaurants, resorts and other tourism business owners in the town, committed to conduct a monthly clean up of the town’s 5-kilometer shoreline famous for its fine, white sand.

Yesterday morning, Safetea members, resort workers, government employees including teachers and some youth conducted the first clean up drive on the five-kilometer stretch of coastal area.

William Medici, Press Relations Officer (PRO) of Safetea, said that the clean up is their way of saying that they do not want their municipal waters to be polluted like what happened to Boracay.

Boracay Island was ordered closed for six months by President Rodrigo Duterte because of the high coliform content in the waters of the country’s premier tourism destination.

“It dawned upon us that we are stewards of our natural environment and we aim to preserve it for generations to come,” read a statement from Safetea.

The organization also took up the challenge to be part of the education and information drive of the DENR in the hopes of gathering more participants from the community.

Meanwhile, the Sta. Fe LGU ensured to facilitate a regular collection of garbage to prevent it from reaching and contaminating the municipality’s bodies of water.

The MOA also enjoined barangay officials and community organizations to effectively implement a solid waste management system and to support all activities geared towards the conservation of the environment.

Aside from garbage, one standing problem on Sta. Fe’s shores are the establishments that encroached into the 20-meter easement zone.

In a report submitted by the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (Cenro) of the DENR-7, 21 commercial and residential structures in Sta. Fe violated the easement policy and are subject to demolition.

However, Safetea appealed to DENR that the structures should not be demoslished because “the structures only appeared to have encroached the easement zone due to the continuing erosion of the shoreline and the rise of the water level.

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