BY ADRIAN P. NEMES III
The Community Environment and Natural Resources Office will look into allegation that several full-grown mangroves along the banks of Sum-ag River were cut to give way for the development of a resort, Cenro head Joan Nathaniel Gerangaya said.
Gerangaya said he has formed a team to conduct the investigation because, as far as he is concerned, Cenro did not issue any permit for the cutting of mangroves in the area.
He stressed that the team he formed will gather evidence and if, indeed, mangroves were cut, they will report it to Barangay Sum-ag while appropriate charges will be filed against those responsible.
On Thursday, Councilor Carl Lopez, chairman of the Sangguniang Panlungsod Committee on Environment, sought the help of Cenro in investigating the alleged cutting of mangroves.
Barangay Sum-ag Captain Rodney Carmona, in a letter to Department of Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, claimed that the development project for the resort utilized about three hectares of mangrove areas on the adjacent location of Purok Mabiuligon II and Purok Punta Balas in Brgy. Pahanocoy.
Carmona and members of the barangay council conducted an ocular inspection in the area Wednesday morning and found out that the developer was able to construct a mini-wharf at the entrance to the river using concrete boulder materials that made the entrance narrow.
Carmona said this is dangerous as it will become a navigational hazard for incoming and outgoing fishing vessels docking in the area.
He said the developer used heavy equipment to illegally cut full grown mangrove trees that, he said, would greatly affect the living condition of residents of Purok Mabiuligon II, Purok Punta Balas, and nearby areas, without application or authority from the barangay. Carmona also said that the fisherfolk associations in the area strongly denounced the resort development as it will affect the fish breeding ground.*