TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol June 4 (PIA)-- The issuance of a department order declaring the permanently uplifted areas of Maribojoc and Loon is not the end of it all, and confiscating the 137 hectares of the uplifted coastlines is far from what it means.
In fact, the declaration implied in the department order signals the official start of consultations on the management
Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Nestor Canda said this as news spread about an apparent interpretation that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has deprived the towns of Maribojoc and Loon an aggregate of 137 hectares from the over 417 hectares of gained shorelines following the October 13, 2013 earthquake.
In a phenomena called upliftment, Maribojoc and Loon both gained 417 hectares when the seas in these towns retreated about 50 meters seawards elevating the coastlines to over a meter high.
The uplift also caused some areas of the coasts to be permanently denied of the tidal movements that the exposed portions are now hosting the indications of thriving terrestrial plants.
With the gain in coastlines, some enterprising residents tried to build structures on the formerly classified seas that the local authorities and the DENR have to put in markers to remind people that these exposed areas are government property.
To make sure that no encroachments happen within these areas, the DENR, which sees a rare potential in the areas for geological research, educational studies and tourism activities.
Loon executive assistant to Mayor Lloyd Peter Lopez, Reynaldo Monreal said, with the onset, the town crafted an ordinance establishing the Loon Coastal Geomorphic Conservation Park at the Loon Uplifted Intertidal Zone, and asserting the town's territorial jurisdiction of the area.
Drafted in 2014 and is still under review, the ordinance lays down the management plan for the development of the site for tourism, amusement, recreation, sports and physical activities.
It laid some prohibited acts in the designated areas including the construction of anything not in line with the development plan, the collection and extraction of materials and objects with ecological, geological and educational importance from the area, cutting of trees, unauthorized planting of any species, dumping of garbage, driving or parking that may destroy the significance of the area.
All of these however were seemingly threatened by the issuance of Department Administrative Order 2015-08, signed May 14, 2015, which declared some uplifted areas of Maribojoc and Loon as geological monument.
On this, PENRO Canda is positive that the declaration, if there is anything that it signifies, it is the green-lighting of the consultations of the communities on the policies they must need to put up to conserve the area.
The outputs of the series of upcoming consultations would be the contents of a recommendation the DENR submits to the President so the corresponding proclamation can be finally issued. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)