Wednesday 18 July 2018 20:49:02 PHT

Reader Comments on 'Proposed Port at Tangnan Threatens Sensitive Ecosystem'

A proposed port in Tangnan, Panglao, threatens the fragil marine and island eco-systems, and tourism development at Panglao island.

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Philip Kit Morris wrote:
Wednesday, 5 January 2005 14:26:55 PHT
I'm a U.K./Canadian living and working in Asia for last 12 years.I work in Korea in the financial sector. Staying at Alona Beach and diving around the reef areas within the Bohol Marine Triangle(BMT) hold very special memories for me and my friends. We try to visit Alona twice (or more each year if I could) - usually coming from my place in Cebu via Tagbiliran port. Ideally, Mr. Uy could probably buy some land and build his stockyard there in Tagbiliran and donate the land he/they own by the Alona area to the BMT. Now, that would truly be a most magnanimous,admirable, charitable and a very noble thing to do for the community at large and Panglao's tourist industry as well. A gift of that nature would serve to achieve an enduring and humanitarian legacy for the Uy family in the eyes of Boholans and beyond the Philippines. BUT is it possible ? The logistics don't make sense. Why was the application approved by the ignorant newbie in DENR Cebu who is unaware of what truly is at stake? Who is he trying to impress... or was he coerced? OR is Empire building, selfish pride, avarice and money all that matters to the Uys? As of now the waters are relatively clean, the reefs are in good shape,(compared to Cebu) although evidence of dynamite fishing is still apparent ...and also beautiful color - still blue and turquoise; not green yet. The people there are friendly, it's quiet and the mix of food/accom./diving is great. Yet, I know that many businesses and families there have been struggling... but this is one person who appreciates what you are doing for tourism, the reef ecosystem, diving and the fishermen. I was shocked to hear Genesis Diver's say "that unless people make their opposition known loud and clear to the government and the Uy family --the destruction of this wonderful marine habitat will be unavoidable. The Uy family's unnecessary "private port" development to ship livestock while b-ypassing government run facilities at nearby Tagbiliran is environmentally short-sighted and will cost the province much more than it benefits them or any of the corrupt officials who permit its construction. Also I don't appreciate the Korean "xenophobic and isolationist" attitude in their take over of Crystal Beach or whatever they call it now on the bluff at the one end of Alona. The resort is now totally "off limits" to anyone who is NOT Korean...this is an affront to the community and the "open-armed welcome" you usually get in the Visayas. They are putting a black mark on the warm&friendly corporate image of Bohol's Hospitality and Tourism Industry
lucia suarez wrote:
Saturday, 3 April 2004 04:48:06 PHT
Mrs. Cook wrote:
Monday, 29 March 2004 01:51:08 PHT
I used to live in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. There is a mile long white Dania beach and Ft. Lauderdale beach which our family frequented. Even of beautiful white beach, the drawback is the oil slick because of the port nearby. The port authorities has strict regulation to keep the port clean and free of environmental hazards and is continuously doing it but because the port has ships, ships needs oil, oil drips into the ocean, which should not be, there is still pollution. Every morning there are tractors that sweep the beach clean for tourist to walk. Tourist walk and jog on the clean white shore. When you walk barefooted on the clean looking shore, most of the times your feet is full of oil slick. Your feet is covered with black tar, just like the tar used for paving the road. It is difficult to remove. Oil also kills the sea weeds and coral reefs. Since sea weeds and coral reefs are not living, fish, crabs,shrimps,whale,dolphins and other sea creatures will not live there too. Tourist will not like to see that happen. They will go to another place to see and enjoy. Natives will lost their source of livelihood. Bohol government might lost its prestige as the #1 tourist destination in the Philippines and Bohol might lost tourist income if a private port is granted to be built. There are alternative to port and let's inform the public to support this cause and pray that the Uy family will listen to the people not to build this port. We want to preserve God's given beauty, the creatures that live around it and the livelihood of everyone that touches it!
Ernst P. Hall wrote:
Thursday, 19 February 2004 13:13:10 PHT
Just to set the record straight, I'm an American, a retired professional Chemical Engr. I have spent most of my working life in matters related to environmental controls including more than 25 yrs in US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). I also have some interest here in Visayas and have been vacationing and working off and on here over the last 15 yrs.About a year ago I examined some of the areas of Panglao Island including both beach areas and interior sites. The geology of the island makes it difficult to dispose of polluting waste by putting waste into the ground ,polluting waste waters generated on the island will tend to seep toward the shore and discharge into the litoral waters, this would tend to maximize the pollutional effects of inland industries and installations. Some 30 yrs ago, the USA began a major effort to reduce water pollution and control the polluting discharges from all kinds of industries.The US Water Pollution Control Act of 1972 required different regulations for existing and new sources with the requirement for new sources being much more stringent.In implementing these Water Pollution Control Act it has proven to be much more economic and effective to control the resources while existing source control has proven to be more costly and not as effective as new source control. Hence, it is very important to evaluate and consider that a resort and recreation area onced degraded by industrial and agricultural waste waters may suffer permanent damage. It may not be technically feasible or economically achievable to return the polluted areas to their prime residential,reacreational and fisheries use.
Cor /Marietta Kemp wrote:
Sunday, 26 October 2003 23:21:35 PHT
Actually, if the high gov't. officials of Bohol or Panglao are not "nearsighted", they would not allow these Fil.-Chinese businessmen to exploit Panglao island. We all know what the consequences are of having a commercial port in this island. Water pollution is a disaster to the fishermen's source of income. Eco-tourism would surely fade away. And above all, having a port would not benefit to the majority of the island's inhabitants. The natural underwater beauty has to be preserved and not to be destroyed!
Jesse wrote:
Sunday, 19 October 2003 23:38:57 PHT
This is in response to Mr Tony Ranque of K. S. A. I undestand you about your being concerned about the economics and environment of the Tangnan port. Though it seems to me that you dont know that the purpose of this port is primarily for the shipment of hogs and swine, and a big area of this port will be for a stockyard for such product to be shipped. Would you like this kind of stuff will be right next door from you? We are just trying to prevent a big desaster to happen in this very beautiful place which is called GODS LITTLE PARADISE!!!
Tony Ranque wrote:
Wednesday, 15 October 2003 19:22:33 PHT
Excerpt from a news article published at Today and Phil-at-Home by Teodoro Y. Montelibano:

"Another mark gained by Bohol last year was when the local government's environmental management system merited for the province the TUV Germany ISO-14001 final certificate, making it the first, if not the only local government unit in Southeast Asia to be so recognized.

"We believe it is important for potential investors to know that the environmental management system (EMS) we use follow world-accepted standards and that our use of such system is certified by an independent audit body," said Resti Tejido, managing consultant of the Bohol Investments Promotions Center (BIPC), which is under the Office of the Governor.

The BIPC, which identifies investment targets and assists potential and existing investors in the province, is one of 10 pilot offices in the provincial government which has adopted the use of EMS in environmental preservation and conservation efforts.

"Bohol is being positioned as an eco-cultural tourism province, Ms. Tejido added, "and you can't have eco-tourism without preserving the environment. Our vision for the province influences the kind of economic activity we can and can't allow in Bohol. And we're only allowing light to medium, non-pollutive industries. That means no cement factories or mining activities. That's why if you go to the pier here, you can see the stones underwater; you can even go fishing in the pier because there's no oil slick. The water's very clean as it is in the resort areas as well."

Such zealousness for concern in the environment has already earlier earned for the province the United States Agency for International Development's Blue Heart Award for effective enforcement of laws in regulating its coastal and marine resources."

Jeroen, perhaps you have the time to check from TUV Germany the coverage of Bohol's certificate to ISO-14001 for its EMS.

For the above statements seem to contradict the environmental impact of Tangnan port.

Tony Ranque
Al-Khobar, KSA

Antoniette C. Lungay wrote:
Tuesday, 14 October 2003 09:48:46 PHT
I am and will always be proud being a boholana not just because I am from pure boholano parents but because of the God-bestowed beautiful spots in Bohol which I always flaunt with aplomb. Indeed, it pains me to see these tourist spots being exploited by selfish individuals and groups. Hence, I am indignant to whoever attempts to destroy the natural and beautiful resources we have especially in Panglao. Seeing another port in the island is tantamount to torturing my eyes. Needless to say, this port will bring about pollution, decrease in tourism, destruction of coral reefs, reduction of marine resources, loss of livelihood of fishermen, etc. I am therefore invoking these individuals or groups to stop their plans for I know this does not redound to the benefit of the entire island.
Erwin & Trisha Dumalag wrote:
Wednesday, 8 October 2003 08:47:24 PHT
White sand beaches, waters that are so clear, you can see the fishes swimming beneath the blue waters with the naked eye. The smell of fresh air as you walk by the ocean while meeting your neighbors and watching the fishermen bringing in their catch. Hardworking fishermen fishing day and night just to earn a little money to support their families. All of this will no longer be possible if Alturas gets his way. Placing a port and a piggery at Tangnan will destroy all that is beautiful not only this part of the island, but all of Panglao. The island of Panglao is made with pumice rocks which will allow the waste from Alturas Piggery to seep within the rocks and poison the drinking waters. But, of course, Alturas would not care because he has all the money to buy all the clean drinking water he needs.

This man has no business in Bohol! In fact, this man was not even born in Bohol. So, why would he care about this beautiful island? Please keep Panglao Island clean and livable. Thanks.

The fact that the owner of Alturas is ethnically Chinese is not a rational argument against this project. I know this is an often sounded sentiment, but it would have been just as bad if somebody deeply rooted in Panglao would have proposed it. It is a fact that also some local people in the local government do support this project.--Jeroen.

Edwin D. wrote:
Wednesday, 8 October 2003 07:38:11 PHT
It takes thousands and thousands of years for mother nature to create beauty such as what has been brought to us in Panglao, Balicasag, and Pamilacan. It takes the wrath and the indignation of a company, like Alturas, to ignore the implications and consequences of building a port in the Bohol Triangle. According to the article, this area has already been deemed as a environmentally critical area. What is the use of building a port in Panglao anyway? Is the ports in Tagbilaran, which is only about ten minutes away, not sufficient? Is it "not up to their standards"? Maybe it isn't destroying the ecosystem efficiently. Maybe they feel that the critical ecosystem is like a bandaid; rip it off quick so it doesn't hurt. This building of a private port in Panglao is a clear degradation of the human being as a fellow occupant of this beautiful planet that God gave us. We are not living in ambiance with our fellow occupants, but rather being viruses to them. It plainly isn't right to destroy something so beautiful that took thousands and thousands of years just to make a couple of bucks.
Genes Molina wrote:
Friday, 3 October 2003 12:26:40 PHT
I'm very glad that even though you are not from Bohol and not even a Filipino, your concerns are truely for the Boholanos. Mabuhay ka!!
Nico Haight wrote:
Monday, 29 September 2003 10:41:01 PHT

You are God sent. I felt gratitude for your website. Thank you. I sent an e-mail to the Regional director Bienvinido Lipayon regarding my objection to the project and of course no respond. I am not surprise. The lack of accountability is nothing new to government officials there. They are enablers and contribute to the corruption. They are the problem to begin with because by a mere "petty cash" and with a stroke of their dirty pen they will destroy what has been there for million of years. My great grandfather, my grandfather, and my parents all come from there. They earned their livelihoond when they were young, enjoyed and preserved it. Who are we the youger generation to allow it to happen? What about the next generation what are they going to see and say about us? The legacy of garbage! What about the other people who inhabit the island whose voices are not heared and are ignored? There was a newspaper whole page indicating the groups opposing the construction. It was ignored. There were petitioners gathered and published again it was ignored. The Bohol forum group obtained votes for those opposed to the port and was to be presented to Gov. Aumentado in Las Vegas, but for some miraculous reason his travel was conveniently cancelled. Copies of the forum petitioners were forwarded to AGC and government officials and they were ignored.

Since, it is now public that we can obtain dual citizenship, the more we need to make noise and make our officials accountable. It is interesting to note that a grant or contribution of $800,000 from the United Nations Program of Global Environmental (GEF) and the Foundation for Philippine Government ( FPE) for this area. We the tax payers may be paying some of these sums. It will be a good idea to give them a call. You will hear from me if I learn anything.

Your article is well done. You articulated words out of my mouth. Thank you again. Your wesite is awesome. Keep up the good work...

Nico Haight, A Panglaoanon

Jessie wrote:
Monday, 29 September 2003 09:46:20 PHT
I thought the rejection of this Alturas mega-Piggery port in the heartland of the tourism island of Panglao is done, but it seems that its starting be alive again like an octopus thats growing more tentacles grabbing them by there neck, from the REGIONAL director of the DNR in Cebu city to the lowest bo. council of Tangnan, Panglao Bohol where this Mega-Piggery port of this alturas is to be built. Two years ago he was denied a permit for this port and was advised to look for a defferent site outside Panglao, but instead he just waited for the DNR regional director in Cebu to be replaced by a new easy one to start his monkey deals again. We might as well change its name as "GODS LITTLE PARADISE' to 'THE BAY OF PIGS'
Lucy B. Dumalag wrote:
Sunday, 28 September 2003 13:11:22 PHT
A port anywhere in Panglao will be a disaster to the delicate ecosystem. This Alturas and Co. should take a plunge and dive near the proposed site maybe in Napaling, Batong Awo, Kang Iste. They might have a change of heart after seing how Nature sculptured the wonders of the ocean.
Romie Villalobos wrote:
Thursday, 25 September 2003 08:39:08 PHT
These two letters indeed voiced out strong sentiments against the proposed port to be built by AGC at Tangnan, Panglao. Being one of the investors of the retirement village soon to be started in Tangnan, and one of the strong supporters to the ecological balance in the area especially where the port is to be built, I could not agree more than what these two concerned individuals said through their letters to the agencies responsible of making sure that our ecological system is protected.

I admire the work of the these two individuals by way of spearheading this protest and I hope Boholanos in foreign lands as well as residents of Dawis and Tangnan where most are affected by this potentially damaging port to the surroundings of Tangnan and nearby Dawis barangays, will stand up and hold their hands upright to lodge a very strong disapproval of the way this process of acceptance of the second application was conducted.

Concerned Boholanos, for the sake of our future generations, should make known their disagreement and call to invoke due process of the law to look into the the coersive activities by which this second application have merited to be approved. They should not take into consideration the name and status of individuals who might received extra preference from the applicant but bring to justice those who have stepped beyond the bounce of rightful administration of the law. If there were infractions in the conduct of both parties, then the approval of the second application should be rendered null and void.

I just hope that proper authorities, after receiving these two letters, should take a careful review of all the mitigating circumstances and dispense the right judgment as called. And I hope further that these letters should not be regarded only by blind eyes and deaf ears and just toss it to the waste basket, because they too perhaps have succumbed to the pit where others had been fed.


Romie Villalobos

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