Mayor: Only 15 % of fixed, floating cottages in Cordova remain

ONLY 75 fixed and floating cottages remain in the coastal waters of Barangays Catarman and Poblacion in Cordova, Cebu out of the 500 that were ordered removed or demolished in September 2022.

This was disclosed by Mayor Cesar Suan after he signed an executive order banning the construction of such structures.

"We are doing the stoppage of the floating cottages because we’ve seen that they can be harmful to the environment. If we will not act now, the next time (contamination) will be worse,” he said in a mix of English and Cebuano.

Suan said that if they don’t take action, fisherfolks will lose their livelihood and their source of fish.

"We are projecting in one year or two years there will be a red tide or some other (tragedy) because the oxygen level in the water has dropped. This drives the fish away. In a few months or years, the waters off Cordova may no longer have any fish,” he said in a mix of English and Cebuano.

The mayor said he expects all the structures to be gone in the next few days as the demolition continues.

He said they will return items that can still be used to their owners.

Meanwhile, Suan said tourists have returned to the town with the easing of pandemic-related restrictions.

Although swimming and water activities are still banned in Barangay Catarman, he said there are public beaches in Barangays Poblacion and Buagsong.

He also urged those who can afford to visit private resorts and island-hopping sites under the town’s jurisdiction.

In August, Governor Gwendolyn Garcia ordered owners of floating and fixed cottages in Cordova to stop their operations after the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Central Visayas found high levels of fecal coliform in the town’s waters.

In September, Garcia banned swimming and similar activities after the Department of Health Central Visayas warned that swimming in contaminated waters could lead to various diseases, such as typhoid fever, hepatitis and dysentery, among others. (PAC, PJB)