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Chocolate hills resort: Bohol governor tells DENR to take legal action ASAP

By: Morexette Marie Erram - CDN Digital | March 14,2024 - 04:09 PM

CEBU CITY, Philippines—The provincial government of Bohol wants to find out how the controversial resort located within the famous Chocolate Hills was allowed to construct and operate despite an investigation that started way back in 2018.

Bohol Governor Erico Aris Aumentado on Thursday, March 14, 2024, urged the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources (DENR) to take legal actions against Captain’s Peak immediately.


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The provincial government questioned why the resort still managed to continue construction even it lacked documents needed to commence civil works. These included the Environment Certificate of Compliance (ECC).

According to Aumentado, the province of Bohol has since investigated the matter in 2018.

At that time, the resort managed to secure clearances from DENR and the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB). The management also owned titles to the land and mayor’s permit, the governor added.

However, it lacked the ECC, prompting the national government agency to issue a temporary closure.

“Mao na karun, among giignan nga kinahanglananon muhatag og legal action and ipatuman ang environmental law bahin sa nahitabo ani,” Aumentado told reporters in Cebu during the 1st quarter meeting of the Regional Development Council in Central Visayas on Thursday.

(That’s why now, we told them that they have to take legal action and implement environmental law on what happened.) 

In addition, the governor said they also planned to summon the owner of the resort, who is a retired seaman, to further shed light into the issue.

On the other hand, Aumentado told DENR to coordinate with them when it comes to possible developments within and near protected areas in Bohol like the Chocolate Hills.

Bohol: Unesco Geopark

Encompassing six municipalities, the famous attraction recently became the country’s first United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) Geopark.

The governor expressed disappointment why they were kept in the dark when the DENR issued closure orders on the resort when it was being constructed.

In turn, he also asked them to always coordinate with the local government when it comes to decisions relating any protected areas in Bohol.

“Ang nahitabo, while investigation, ang DENR naghatag sila og closure – temporary closure when in fact wala nihatag og copy furnished sa niimbestigar na sila Jammie Villamor ug sa atong provincial government,” Aumentado explained.

(What happened is, while investigation, the DENR gave a closure – temporary closure when in fact they didn’t give a furnished copy to the one who investigated who was Jammie Villamor and to the provincial government.)

Meanwhile, the provincial government is considering enacting an ordinance that aims to perpetually prohibit construction of any establishments in protected areas.  

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TAGS: bohol, chocolate hills

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