Cordova mayor threatens to close floating cottages with no proper comfort rooms

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CORDOVA, Cebu Mayor Cesar “Didoy” Suan has threatened to close floating cottages in the town should owners fail to provide adequate comfort rooms within this week.

Suan made the announcement during the flag raising ceremony at the Municipal Hall that was streamed on Facebook Live on Monday, July 18, 2022.

The local executive assured the owners that their operations in the town’s seawaters would be allowed to continue provided they followed his directive.

“Ang walay tarong nga CR, atong ipasira karong semanaha para mapadayon nato ang kalimpyo sa atoang gipanghambog nga atoang kadagatan,” said Suan, adding he had met last week with all the owners, some of whom are not from Cordova.

(Those [cottages] that do not have adequate comfort rooms, we will close them this week so we can maintain the cleanliness of our seas that we are proud of.)

Suan said his office will create a committee that will handle the floating cottages, and the fixed cottages, and lay down guidelines that owners should follow.

The mayor noted that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is set to visit and check the situation and cleanliness of the areas where these floating cottages are located, particularly in Barangays Poblacion and Catarman.

Personnel from the Rural Health Unit, Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, and Marine Watch will accompany the DENR officials during the inspection this week.

Suan issued his first executive order last July 5, and it prohibits the construction of illegal structures such as floating cottages along legal easements and within the town’s coastal areas. He issued the order after he received a letter from the DENR concerning the floating cottages that have been operating in Barangays Poblacion and Catarman as these areas are considered no-build zones.

Aside from being illegally constructed along easements, Suan said majority of the floating and fixed cottages were constructed without any permit or clearance from the Municipal Government. The mayor also ordered the barangay chiefs of the town and other concerned offices to cease issuing any permit or clearance for individuals operating floating cottages within their jurisdiction.

The DENR’s Administrative Order 2021-07 states that legal easements are “determined to be applied, such that, a three-meter easement zone and a 20-meter easement zone shall be adopted for urban and rural areas, respectively.”

Mayor Suan did not state in his July 18 flag ceremony’s speech whether the floating cottages had violated the legal easement or had been constructed legally.

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