MISAMIS Oriental Governor Yevgeny Emano on Monday, April 16, hit the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-Northern Mindanao for the office’s supposed failure to check whether resorts in the province are complying with environmental laws and regulations.
Emano made the statement in reaction to reports that an inspection team from the DENR-Northern Mindanao has begun looking into, among others, the land titles of property owners operating resorts in Opol, Laguindingan, and Initao towns.
"They should have done it a long time ago before people started constructing resorts. Ayha na lang sila karon tungod sa issue sa Boracay (Why now after the Boracay issue). Wala nila gibuhat completely ilang mandate (They did not completely do their mandate)," Emano said.
Emano said he has nothing against the DENR-Northern Mindanao going around the province but said he wants to get an assurance from the office that resorts that incur violations will not be arbitrarily closed.
The governor said he will oppose and challenge closure orders without consultation and opportunity for resorts owners to be accorded with due process.
He said resorts that will be shut down by the DENR-10 for supposed violations should receive help and assistance from the department so they can have the opportunity to recover their investments.
"Uyon mi sa investigation pero supak mi nga ipasara diretso especially Seven Seas nga nagdala og dungog sa Misamis Oriental (The investigation is ok but we will oppose if resorts will be closed down right away especially Seven Seas which gave honor to the province),” Emano said.
"Imagine the many people who will lose their livelihood and source of income,”Emano said.
Emano said he has ordered the provincial tourism office to constitute a team to study the issues.
He said there should be a consultative meeting with the local government units of the affected towns, the capitol, DENR-10, and other stakeholders.
He said he is willing to set up a dialogue with all affected entities and agencies.
"I am willing to mediate and go through the process. Hinay-hinayon lang dili kaliton ang mga resort owners,"Emano said.
"Kung ilang ipasara karon dayon ang mga resorts nga butang ta naay kasupakan sigurado ko nga kita sa Misamis Oriental ang ilang pinakauna nilang makontra legal (If DENR insists to immediately close resorts for supposed violations, the capitol will face them in a legal battle)," he added.
Emano said he is awaiting the official report following the inspections conducted by DENR-Northern Mindanao.
Officials of the DENR-Northern Mindanao confirmed last week that they have started the inspections and inventories of resorts that have failed to comply with environmental laws and regulations.