DENR 7 set to release result of water check on Cordova’s coastal villages where floating cottages operate

·3 min read

THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Central Visayas will release next week the result of the beach water quality check conducted within the vicinity of floating and fixed cottages in Cordova town.

This was what Engr. Cindylyn Cabrera-Pepito, information officer of the Environmental Management Bureau in Central Visayas (EMB 7), told SunStar Cebu on Thursday, July 21, 2022, a day after DENR inspected the vicinity to also determine if such cottages are compliant with their guidelines.

Based on a report from the municipal’s official Facebook page, DENR 7 collected seven water samples for testing. Results of the test will be used as the baseline data to determine the water quality.

“Ang resulta mahimong baseline data tungod kay walay previous o prior data ug adto na mahibaw-an ang kalimpyo o gihugawon sa dagat kung diin nahimutang ang mga floating ug fixed cottages,” it said.

The beach water test was conducted “to test water samples for levels of E. coli (Escherichia coli) bacteria,” apart from the requirement for the cottages to be equipped with portable toilets.

“Ang sobra nga level sa E. coli sa kadagatan makadaot sa panglawas ug ang presensya niini nagpasabot nga adunay nagkatag nga hugaw sa tawo,” it added.

The inspection was conducted by Jesspaz Salamanes, DENR 7 senior environment management specialist, who was accompanied by personnel from the Marine Watch and Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) on Wednesday.

During the flag-raising ceremony on Monday, July 18, Cordova Mayor Cesar “Didoy” Suan threatened to close floating cottages in the town should owners fail to equip these with comfort rooms or portable toilets within this week.

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

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

Suan issued his first executive order last July 5, prohibiting 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, which have been 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."

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. (MKG)

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