BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Owners of the business establishments, who have been operating without permits at the tourist destination areas of barangays Guimbalaon and Patag in Silay City, have started to receive cease-and-desist orders served to them by the Joint Inspection Team (JIT) and Office of the Building officials, Mayor Mark Golez yesterday said.
Golez said that 36 business establishments have been operating without business permits, among others, depriving the government of taxes amounting to millions of pesos since 2004 onwards.
The serving of cease-and-desist orders is now ongoing, with 50 percent of the owners of illegal structures already receiving their respective copies without any resistance as they are aware of their violations, he added.
Prior to the serving of cease-and-desist orders, the JIT had served notices of violations to owners of illegal structures, including resorts, lodging houses, cafes and restaurants on July 25 and 26.
Owners of the illegal structures have signified their intention to operate their businesses again within the Lantawan-Patag areas, although some of them voluntarily closed their establishments because of COVID-19 pandemic and the temporary ban on tourists in those areas, except for residents, Golez said.
Checkpoints were also established by the police and military to ensure compliance of the order issued by the Silay City government.
Golez said that he will endorse the letter requests of the owners of business establishments to the Protective Area Management Board of the Northern Negros Natural Park, for appropriate action, before making any response to their appeal.
“The burden for approval now lies with PAMB,” he said, stressing that they will only follow whatever its recommendations.
There is now a proposed ordinance up for deliberation by the Silay City Council for the creation of a Patag-Guimbalaon Management and Development Authority, that aims to formulate policies that will regulate activities within its protected area.*