Reclamation project in Caticlan has ECC, with notice to proceed - DENR
by Venus G. Villanueva
Kalibo, Aklan (9 December) -- The reclamation project of some 2.64 hectares in Caticlan, Malay, Aklan adjacent to the jetty port has a notice to proceed already from the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA).
It has an Environment Clearance Certificate (ECC) also, released by the Environment Management Bureau (EMB) Regional Office in Iloilo City, according to Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Antonio Luis of DENR-Aklan.
The ECC, added PENRO Luis, has 42 conditionalities intended for the protection of the immediate environment in Caticlan.
According to Engr. Roger M. Esto of the Provincial Planning and Development Office (PPDO), reclamation activities have started already on December 1 through the construction of a perimeter fence.
This, despite opposition from some sectors in the area like LGU-Malay and the Boracay Foundation Incorporated (BFI) who manifested their respective stands through resolutions, which were forwarded earlier to the Provincial Government of Aklan, implementor of the project, for it to answer.
The DENR also conducted a fact-finding inquiry on Resolution No. 001, series of 2010 of the BFI, and informed Aklan Governor Carlito Marquez about this.
In answer to the earlier complaints of the BFI, Governor Marquez wrote DENR-Aklan on August 5, 2010 saying that the apprehension of the BFI on the economic, social, and political negative impacts of the project are "mere perceptions and generalities and were not anchored on definite scientific, social and political studies."
Governor Marquez also told DENR-Aklan in his letter that the province has the authority to undertake reclamation projects as mandated by Section 17 (3) (vii) of RA 7160 otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991, thus: Infrastructure facilities intended to service the needs of the resident of the province and which are funded out of province' funds including but not limited to provincial roads and bridges; inter-municipal waterworks, drainage and sewerage, flood control, and irrigation systems; reclamation projects and similar facilities.
Marquez said the reclamation project will serve as a catalyst in providing socio-economic benefits to the constituents of the province by pushing infrastructure that will upgrade the facilities of the existing jetty port to international standards, create jobs and generate business opportunities for local business and prospective investors.
"The monetary benefits accruing from this project will be shared with the Municipality of Malay and the concerned barangay according to the provisions of RA 7160 which the Provincial Government of Aklan is implementing by way of a benefit-sharing scheme through the operation of its Caticlan and Cagban Jetty Ports", Marquez said in his letter.
The governor added the reclamation project is designed to provide infrastructure and building facilities both for private and public institutions like the offices of various private offices in Boracay, banks, airline companies, travel agencies, transport cooperatives, "One-Stop-Shop" offices of various national government agencies such as DOT, DENR, MARINA, Coast Guard, Bureau of Immigration, Bureau of Quarantine Bureau of Customs, DSWD and other government offices and instrumentalities.
Funding for the project will come from P260 million bond flotation by Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) with a maturity period of 10 years.
The bond flotation practice of the provincial government, which was also used in the construction of Caticlan Jetty Port in 1999 had been acclaimed by the Department of Finance (DOF) as one the success stories in Bond Flotation Experience.
For his part, Niven Maquirang, Caticlan Jetty Port Administrator and member of the Provincial Management Committee chaired by Governor Marquez, said the reclamation project is highly endorsed by UP Business Management Consultancy Group citing volume of 1.6 million RORO passengers and tourist arrivals in 2010.
Prior to the implementation of the project, the provincial government has conducted consultative presentations with LGU-Malay on December 9, 2009; Boracay Stakeholders on June 17, 2010 at Casa Pilar, Boracay; and Barangay Council of Caticlan, Malay Aklan, Municipal Engineer and Municipal Planning and Development Coordinator on July 28, 2010. (PIA) [top]