LOON, Bohol – Mayor Peter Lloyd Lopez of this old town bared that some 500 fisherfolk, whose livelihood largely depend on fishing, are badly affected, if not displaced, as a result of the declaration of the coastal shift caused by October 15, 2013 earthquake as a geologic monument despite repeated assertion that it’s just a policy statement. Lopez told radio program anchored by veteran Bob Galero over DYTR yesterday that as things go on he may not be able to control if the people would take a mass action against the DENR’s Administrative Order (DAO) No. 08, which declares the said uplifted coastal areas as geologic monument.
Another option would be for the people to campaign for signature opposing the said declaration by the DENR allegedly without public consultation. But if those things happen, especially the mass action, he assured that such moves would be in order since these actions are provided by the basic law of the land.
It was not immediately known what transpired during the meeting called by the governor yesterday at the govrnor’s mansion apparently to thresh out kinks and opposition to the said policy statement.
He expressed worry over the sad plight of his consituents affected by the said DAO because they’re already victims in this town badlly hit by the earthquake.
Some, if not most, of the families are looking for livelihood elsewhere since the earthquake struck this town and now here comes the declared area that may be inaccessible. “Pait paladungon,” the mayor lamented.
This prompted his administration to look for means to help them while still coping with the impact of the earthquake. One of these is the provision of livelihood trainings, like carpentry and others skills trainings, with the assistance of the Technical Educational Skills and Development Authority (TESDA), he said.
Lopez said they wanted “full autonomy” to manage the said area since the this is the livelihood of his people. He added that he wanted to give what he called “ownership right” to the municipality to be able to manage the resources within its territorial jurisdiction.
He assailed the DAO is generic which should not be the case because “ownership right” in favor of the LGU should be defined in the policy. The mayor also sensed that there’s somewhat intrusion by the national government to the local autonomy following the said policy declaration.
“Ang butang nga daghang tag-iya mahimong dakong gubot,” he said. The said area appeared to be claimed by the national government while the municipality also considered it as its own based on the 15-kilometer seawater jurisdiction pursuant to the Local Government Code of 1991, Lopez explained.
But he reasoned out that in managing the said area by the municipality there’s still close coordination with the government agencies, like the DENR, for technical aspect.
He said that there are seven barangays affected by the said government policy over the shifted coastal area of about 137 hectares. Some 90 hectares belong to this town and the remaining 40.3 hectares to Maribojoc town, the mayor said. (rvo)