DENR probe urged on El Nido reclamation
Palawan-based Environmental Legal Assistance Center (ELAC) urged the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to conduct an investigation into the alleged use and occupation of untitled lands and ancestral domains in El Nido, Palawan by a scion of the Zobel de Ayala clan.
The group claimed the reclamation activities, allegedly directed by Beatriz Zobel de Ayala and her associates, have not gone through the appropriate consultations and environmental impact studies, and have led to, among others, the destruction of mangrove areas in El Nido, Palawan.
“There is growing concern that the entry and occupation of these entitled properties in protected areas and in ancestral domains in the provinces of Palawan will continue unless the DENR will intervene and initiate the appropriate legal actions,” said lawyer Grizelda Mayo-Anda, executive director of ELAC, in a letter submitted to Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu.
The group also claimed the DENR City Environment & Natural Resources Office and Protected Area Management Board offices were aware of these developments “but have not done any concrete actions to address these problems.”