DENR urges resort owners in IGACOS to observe the accessibility law
Subscribe Now August 14, 2013 at 08:57am
Speaking in the launching of the press forum “I-Talk at the Seda Hotel,” Atty. Felix Alicer, regional technical director on Land Management Services of the DENR XI said their agency teams-up with the local government of IGACOS in order to regulate the introduction of resort development in the island.
He said a series of three meetings had been held with the stakeholders of IGACOS to discuss the issue on open access on all shorelines based on the Presidential Decree 1067 or Water Code of the Philippines.
“We do not want to be remiss of our mandate to implement the accessibility law on the shoreline,” Alicer said.
He said the law provides that all properties bordering on water are subject to legal easement of varying dimensions like three meters for urban areas, 20 meters for agricultural areas and forty meters for forest land.
Alicer also said that the law guarantees the public access to the beach for purposes of recreation, salvage and fishing.
He explained further that owner even of titled property with beach head, is subject to easement.
“In fact, you are not supposed to introduce structure within this easement, because doing so defeats its purpose,” Alicer said.
He observed resort operators generate revenue from the public through the entrance fees required for the clients.
Alicer suggested that in order to comply with this law, resort owners may require payment for entry on their titled property, but must guarantee free access to the public along the beach area.
He said accessibility of the shoreline had been implemented in other parts in the country like Panglao Island in Bohol and Bantayan Island in Cebu.
Engr. Pastor Lozada, president of the IGACOS Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Incorporated said the security of the resorts is the primary reason many resort operators feel hesitant to follow the law.
He said giving access to the shoreline exposes the resorts to petty crimes like theft.
Lozada cited the importance of protecting the safety and privacy of their clients.
He also justified the construction of jetty that is designed to contain the white sand on the beach front.
Araceli Ayuste, vice president of the IGACOS Resort Owners Association said that the DENR must deal with the resorts on a per property basis because not all resorts have beach fronts.
She said that even her resort has no beach head especially during high tide.
Ayuste also maintained that opening the beach fronts to the public impacts on the safety of tourists.
“Security is one of the main attractions for tourists to visit resorts in Samal Island,” she said.
Ayuste said they already raise their concern to their congressional representative in order to introduce an amendment to the accessibility clause of the Water Code.
« Duterte refuses to host US drones Mindanao banana growers' losses exceed P1B »