PANGLAO, Bohol – An owner of an island was ordered by building official of this town to remove the structure built in said island since it has no building permit. Building official 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 and served as first notice to comply with “due process” principle. There’ll be two other Notices of Illegal Construction issued for the island owner.
“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.
“Failure to comply with this Notice shall cause this office to institute proper legal action against you,” 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.
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.
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 Pontod island. Bouys also placed in part of the sandbar as if preventing vendors from selling their merchandise to the tourists.
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 the fencing and putting of bouys are measures to “control” the influx 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. (rvo)