TAGBILARAN CITY – Provincial Administrator Alfonso R. Damalerio II expressed concern over the controversy arising from the titled island called Pontod, off Panglao town, and urged the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to look into it.Answering media queries during the weekly press conference dubbed “Kita u gang gobernador” yesterday where the said issue was raised, the provincial administrator said that the fact that the island is titled DENR should look into it and why it was titled.
A big billboard is posted on the island’s shoreline with bold markings that the island is titled with OCT No. 47376 December 20, 1982 and owned by Ramon E. Rodriguez and Digna Cloribel Rodriguez. It will be recalled that Pontod island with “movable” tidal flats that form the white sandbar, depending on the sea currents in a particular season, has been fenced with wire materials with concrete posts around the island.
The move of the owner appeared barring visitors and swimmers to set foot on the island. Bouys also placed in part of the sandbar as if preventing vendors from selling their merchandise to the tourists who frequented here. Some residents of barangay Doljo affected by the “development” of the island have petitioned before the Sangguniang Barangay against the entry ban of the island. The petition has been forwarded to the municipal council.
Kin of the island owner said that fencing of the island and putting of buoys are measures to “control” the incursion of visitors considering that the island is a titled lot. Besides, the owner is now giving attention to the environmental protection of the island.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) earlier said that even if the island is titled, fencing it may still be questionable.
Building official urged an island owner of this town to remove the structure built in said island since it has no building permit. “Failure to comply with this Notice shall cause this office to institute proper legal action against you,” the order said.
Engr. Rogelio S. Bonao issued a Notice of Illegal construction dated February 13, 2015 to Ramon Rodriguez, said to be the owner of Pontod island off this town, to remove the “structure constructed between Balut-is and Gak-ang island,” which the town considered illegal since it has no necessary building permit.
The said Notice is noted by Mayor Leonila P. Montero to comply with “due process” principle. There’ll be two other Notices of Illegal Construction issued for the island owner, Bonao said.
“Also the bouys you placed around the island is illegal hence there is no existing Municipal Ordinance declaring the said area as Marine Protected Area (MPA),” the order said.
A copy of the said Notice was marked as “Refused to Sign” as witnessed by Rolando Clenista, kagawad of barangay Poblacion of this tourist town, where the said island belongs. The refusal of the concerned island owner to receive the said “Notice of Illegal construction” prompted the town officials to send it via registered mail.
Bonao said that the owner himself along with a certain Agu Cloribel came to his office recently and seemed wanted to apply for and comply with the building permit. (rvo)