Over a hundred resorts in Bicol cited by EMB for waste disposal violations
By Celso Amo LEGAZPI CITY --- The Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources has issued notices of violation to more than a hundred resorts in the provinces of Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Albay and Masbate for improper waste discharge. Eva Ocfemia, Bicol EMB regional technical director, said it was found out during inspections that some resorts do not have Environmental Clearance Certificate (ECC) while others have no waste discharge permit and no permit to operate. Ocfemia said that as a result notices of violation were issued to over a hundred of these erring resorts and establishments. “So we are going to invite them this month of April and May to discuss their problem make them understand what is required of them under the law,” she added. Ocfemia said the meeting will be preparatory to a technical conference that will be conducted by EMB among owners and operators of resorts and ecotourism destinations in Bicol. “Our priority areas are popular resorts in Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Albay and Masbate where most local and foreign tourists go.” She said that after the issuance of notice for non- compliance and still fail to comply complied, the corresponding penalties will apply. Further violation will result to the issuance of a cease and desist order, she said. “We have not issued a closure order [so far] for those violators because the water quality in their areas were still within the tolerable standards. But we demand that there should be immediate action to address the violation,” she added. “We don’t want environmental degradation to occur before we take action,” Ocfemia added. Ocfemia thanked Congress for providing legislative support to preserve and protect the environment in Bicol by insuring that resorts and ecotourism destinations comply with environmental laws to make tourism in the region competitive.