BUSINESS OWNERS along the Pujada Bay in Mati City have been given an extension until end-September to comply with all the requirements to operate in a declared protected area.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-Davao Region office, in a statement on Thursday, said the “one month leeway to all resource users” was for “humanitarian reasons” and agreed upon in a meeting on Aug. 18.
Data from the Pujada Bay Landscape and Seascapes Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) show there are 156 foreshore users, including resorts and other leisure establishments.
Of the total, 69 are at varying stages of complying with the requirements for the Special Use Agreement on Protected Areas (SAPA) while 87 are still undergoing assessment by the PAMB for a clearance to apply for a SAPA.
There are also 50 farms growing Vanamei shrimp along the bay, with only 12 under SAPA processing. The remaining 38 have just submitted a letter of intent to apply.
Under DENR rules, there are up to 13 requirements to get a SAPA, including proof of financial capacity “to manage and develop the area applied for” and a development plan.
DENR-Davao Regional Executive Director Bagani Fidel A. Evasco, also the PAMB chair, noted that there is an existing policy that businesses that will set up shop along Pujada Bay must first comply with a SAPA before being issued a building and business permit.
The Pujada Bay, located in the southeastern part of Mindanao in southern Philippines, was declared a protected area in 1994 and was included last year in the list of Most Beautiful Bays in the World by the 26-nation MBBW group. — MSJ