TAGBILARAN CITY – The women leader of this city expressed grave concern over the destruction and abuses inflicted into the channel that divides this city and Panglao island. Ms. Idmila C. Borja, president of the Tagbilaran Woman’s Club said ”Yes, this channel is no longer the channel it used to be” in her short speech during the launching of the book “Jokes Papa Told His Friends,” by former executive secretary Atty. Edilberto Gallares, whose residence is along the shoreline of this city.
“For Bonaconso, it has been a long time agenda to preserve the Tagbilaran channel from further abuses,” she said. She recalled that while “we as youngsters enjoyed swimming in the clear waters what used to be Pantalang daan” and a lot of families “were able to gather shells” like “amahong” from the K of C for their meals. But these things were gone, she lamented.
“Yes, the channel has been defaced by reclamations and the sea is destroyed by pollutants such that in the long history of this city, it is only now that we have the red tide. Tagbilaran channel has to be saved,” she said.
And Bonaconso started it right despite the funding constraint, she said.
For her part, Pat Ruiz, one of the advocates of Tagilaran channel preservation and protection, expounded the citizens involvement and responsibility and volunteerism for the common good “especially in the face of the problems and paradoxes” she presented earlier in her speech.
The most important thing for a citizen to do now “is to define our persona by being good and active citizens” not just be a person by wealth, physical looks or fame, talent and skills, she said.
She concluded that people should better heed the call for sowing the seeds of good citizenship if they want to harvest a good community worthy to be better place to live in.
It will be recalled that the mushrooming of so-called development in terms of infrastructure and the like, not one reclamation project within the city’s 13 kilometers of shorelines “has been granted approval,” yet by the Philippine Reclamation Authority.
This is one of the stark findings of the Tagbilaran City Foreshore Audit conducted on December last year (2012) by the group composed of the city planning office, technical working group (TWG) of the Foreshore Audit team and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) by virtue of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).
As this developed, the study has pinpointed some breach of the foreshore laws. These, including local government units, are: Bohol Tropics Resort Club, Alturas Group of Companies, JJs Seafoods Restaurant, Ramiro Hospital, Bohol Quality Corp., Villa Alzhun Inn and Restaurant, CrabHouse, Jun Mercado, Barangay Poblacion II, Pobalcion I, Barangay Mansasa, Cogon, and Bo-ol, the study said.
The study said that Bohol Tropics has applied for 1.336 hectares but in actual, only .3 has. have been reclaimed.
Alturas applied for .398 has., (actual: .5ha.); JJs applied for .552 ha. (actual: .552 has.); Ramiro Hospital applied for .327 ha. (actual:.327); Bohol Quality applied for 2.327 has. (actual: 5.6 has.); Villa Alzhun Inn & Restaurant applied none (actual: .05 ha.; Jun Mercado applied for none (actual: .04 ha). For a total of 8.369 has., the study said.
Barangay Poblacio II applied for none (actual: .088). It houses the Barangay hall, Senior citizens office, Philippine coast Guard, Maritime Police, K of C and League of Municipalities of the Philippines.
Others include Barangay Booy applied for 4.6 has. (actual: zero); Barangay Cogon applied for 3.6 has. (actual: .8 ha.); Poblacion II applied for 7.673 (actual: 6.47 has.); Baragay Poblacion I applied for 7.9 has. (actual: zero); Mansasa applied for 8.8 has. (actual: 1.05 has.); and Barangay Bool applied for 3.08 has. (actual: .04 ha.), the audit study said.
The city territorial jurisdiction comprised of 32.2 square kilometers composed of 15 barangays, the study said.
City Resolution No. 12-72 has been enacted adopting “A Happy Livable City of 2020 Program: The Family Haven of the Philippines,” in accordance with the city’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP), the study pointed out.
The study hastened to say: “The ecosystem of the Tagbilaran City is gravely threatened and is put at serious risk; hence, this report takes that into account and the recommendations it proposes aims to ensure that judicious and responsive measures will be undertaken to conserve the ecosystem in collaboration and coordination with the municipality of Dauis, Bohol.” (rvo)