Friday 20 October 2017 03:55:05 PHT

Documentation on the Tangnan Port Issue

IJsselstein, Friday, 26 September 2003

The following documents provide some background to the Tangnan Port Issue, discussed in a previous article.

Book cover: Bohol Island: Its Coastal Environment Profile

First of all, we include the forword to Bohol Island, Its Coastal Environment Profile, (published in 2002), an excellent study on the importance of protecting Bohol's coastal ecosystems, with numerous recommedations on the issue. A must-read for everybody interested in the issue. This study has been supported and funded by numerous organizations, including international donars such as the UNDP and USAid.

The book can be obtained, free of charge (as long as stock lasts), from the BFFFI office in Tagbilaran City, CPG East Avenue (near CRBBI and in front of PCSO lotto station). It's a small walk from the center of Tagbilaran. Their phone number is 501-9390.

It is also available as a free download in PDF format from http://www.oneocean.org.

In his forword Governor Erico B. Aumentado encourages everybody to use this book as a guide....

Consistent with this policy, the Tangnan Port was refused an ECC on the first application in 2000:

This, however, is completely at odds with the approval on a second, basically unchanged application three years later, on which an ECC was given to Alturas, shortly after a change in office at the DENR. This really begs the question what has caused such a dramatic shift in policy in the mean time.

Jeroen Hellingman

What readers think...

Romie Villalobos wrote:
Wednesday, 1 October 2003 10:03:15 PHT
"In the intervening years, the composition of the local government changed. The requirement from the DENR to obtain the endorsement from the local government unit, ceased to be an obstacle to the granting of an ECC to the applicant, ASC. DENR would have no more reason to deny the application, since the remaining requirement, the LGU's concurrence, has been complied with."

Rolly:

Your words contained in the above statement are also pure speculative and without basis. They don't carry much weight as it also unsupported with facts. You are also basing your analysis on what you have read. And your argument is very weak, it doesn't hold any water. For example, you mentioned that "in the intervening years" the composition of the local government changed. First, does this mean the attitude and SOP of the new LGU caused the DENR to change their mind because of the gap of time in between application? Did they present new findings that it is now acceptable contrary to the prior LGU's recommendation? Secondly, what makes the new LGU concurrence stronger than the previous when all the underlyings facts regarding the sensitivity of the environmental issues are the same? How can you make this a point of your argument?

Nico Haight wrote:
Monday, 29 September 2003 11:56:23 PHT
Rolly:

Thank you for the insight. Here are a few items which may interest or distinterest you.

1. How was it that since the application for for ECC in 2000 was denied why is AGC using the same scoping materials and previous documents from the denial. Would it not be prudent since it is a new application, new local government, 3 years had lapse that a new scopings should occur?

2. Shouldn't there be second level scoping with public consultation?

3. The processing period requirement to re-apply is 120 days. According to what I have AGC re-applied on April 29, 2003 and was approved May 28, 2003. A rather fast forward decision wouldn't you say? Isn't that a violation of the 120 days?

4. Shouldn't EIARC conducts another site inspection and another public hearing.

5. What about the code of conduct of Good Environmental Goverance sworn which state:

#1 "I will perform my duties with an awareness that I must develop, protect, and judiciously untilize the natural wealth of my nation for public good". It did not say for corporate good.

#4 I will hold myself personally and solely accountable to the Filipino people or all my actions, in line with the ethics of professionalism, policies of organizational discipline, and the laws and regulations of the Philippines, the Philippines Service code and the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources.

#6 I will insure that DUE DELIGENCE is taken before any decision or actions are made or implemented that will concern either directly or indirectly present and FUTURE Filipinos, their heritage, and they RESOURCES they rely upon.

#8 I will treat work colleagues, stakeholders and other community MEMBER with respect, valuing their views and decisions involving them in the protection of the environment. MY aunt who is 82 years old attended one of the scopings. Attendance were taken and according to her no votation occurred and everytime she stood up she was boo'd and overuled. This was in the presence of the so called professionals or specialist hired by AGC. Is this fair deal? And she is not alone as there are many silent people there who either are not well informed or helpless to say anything.

Let us not forget the local petitioners who signed and published in the papers and the other concern sectors previosuly mentioned not counting many members of the Bohol Forum especially now that dual citizenhip will go into effect. What about them? US?

Since, you are a lawyer what can we do at this point. A pro bono consultation will be appreciated. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Nico Haight

MN-Tangnan, Panglao

Rolly Cavan wrote:
Sunday, 28 September 2003 00:13:24 PHT
It would be difficult to generate a thorough and objective assessment about the manner in which DENR granted an ECC, three years after their, ASC's, preceding request was turned down, because the correspondences from Mr. Momongan, and Mr. Lipayon are three years apart. All the materials vitally needed to make a complete assessment are not presented in this website.

Government regulatory bodies disapprove several requests for ECC every day. But, they are conditioned that, once, the reason of the disapproval is corrected, the applicant could resubmit the application, for another review.

A limited, but, inconclusive observation could be derived from these two documents from DENR, one dated in the year 2000, and the other dated 2003.

For instance, Mr. Momongan alerted Mr. Uy about the letter from Mayor Bon opposing the project, for reasons which he articulated to Mr. Momongan in his letter. Since the concurrence of the local government unit is a mandatory requirement for the granting of an ECC, it would be a breach of fiduciary trust, and unethical for DENR to approve ASC's application for ECC without the approval of the local government.

In the intervening years, the composition of the local government changed. The requirement from the DENR to obtain the endorsement from the local government unit, ceased to be an obstacle to the granting of an ECC to the applicant, ASC. DENR would have no more reason to deny the application, since the remaining requirement, the LGU's concurrence, has been complied with.

Subjective assumptions and speculations, that illegal manuevers were exerted in certain level, that processes the ECC, is paranoid, divisive, counterproductive, and, so far, they are unsupported by facts.

Thank you very much for your valuable input. Nowhere in my articles, I have stated that, nor even speculated that illegal manouvres have been made to obtain an ECC. I know this has been articulated on the Bohol Forum discussion list and some visitors of this site, but since I cannot substantiate such claims with proof, I myself will refrain from such claims as counterproductive and distracting from the real issues. But that doesn't mean I will not express my astonishment about such a reverse in policy, as have the writers of the letters done before me.

More important is that the fundamental objections against a port at the proposed site still hold. These objections have not been refuted. The dangers to the local eco-system, including nearby coral reefs, the threats to the local fishermen community, the possible damage to roads, as well as the fact that very viable alternatives exist, make me oppose the proposed port.

It is near impossible for me to provide all documentation on the issue here, as much of it is out of my reach, but I invite you to provide reasons and documentation why the objections stated in the main article are no longer valid, or why the alternatives, such as extending or adding a pier in Tagbilaran City are not viable.--Jeroen.

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