No more construction in Bantayan’s easement zones; demolition set, Gwen orders

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - CDN Digital Multimedia Reporter | September 11,2022 - 10:40 AM
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Bantayan town is one of the three municipalities in Bantayan Island, northern Cebu. (Google Maps image)

CEBU CITY, Philippines – The Capitol has gone further north in its attempt to prevent the seawaters in one of Cebu’s popular tourist destinations from suffering the same fate as Cordova town.

Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia recently issued two Executive Orders (EOs) that direct local authorities to demolish any illegal structures that are located within the 20-kilometer easement and foreshore zones of Bantayan town as well as to prohibit construction on them. 

EO No. 30 forbids further construction in the identified easement and foreshore zones while EO No. 31 orders the demolition of these illegal structures. Both EOs were issued on September 8, 2022. 

In her EOs, Garcia said, the provincial government discovered that several illegal structures have encroached on the easement  zones in four of Bantayan’s coastal villages – Baigad, Sillon, Tamiao, and Atop-Atop. 

These included concrete walls, houses, establishments, abandoned structures, pigpens, toilets, and septic tanks. 

“The further construction of these illegal structures is detrimental to public use, and a patent violation of existing laws, rules, and regulations on easements,” portion of EO No. 30 read.

In turn, they conducted a stakeholders meeting with concerned agencies, departments, the local government of Bantayan and affected residents and property owners last September 8 to resolve this issue. 

The Capitol said all parties “unanimously agreed” to destroy all abandoned structures that have violated the 20-meter easement zone in the four barangays. 

“It has (also) been discovered that most of these illegal structures have either been abandoned, unoccupied, or rendered obsolete by natural calamities, thereby causing unsightly nuisances on the beachfront areas of Bantayan, Cebu in violation of the policies laid down in R. A. No. 9693 or the Tourism Act of 2009,” EO No. 31 said. 

Demolition is expected to start in two weeks after the provincial government made the decision. 

Bantayan is one of the three municipalities comprising Bantayan Island located approximately 140 kilometers northwest of Cebu City.

Last month, the Capitol has intervened to rehabilitate the seawaters of Cordova town on Mactan Island. 

Authorities pointed to the illegal construction of floating and fixed cottages as one of the reasons why the locality’s seawaters have become polluted. 

Operation of floating and fixed cottages there has since stopped.

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TAGS: Bantayan, Cebu‬, Cebu Daily News, Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, cebu news, Cebu province, easement zone
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