The Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office served cease-and-desist orders yesterday to 35 persons who allegedly built illegal structures within the Northern Negros Natural Park in Salvador Benedicto town.
PENRO Andres Untal said his office is set to issue five more CDOs against NNNP occupants in the town this week, most of whom have built vacation houses in the area.
Untal said the PENRO will also look into the presence of illegal structures, such as vacation houses, within the NNNP in Patag, Silay City.
The PENRO was assisted by Task Force Ilahas in serving the CDOs yesterday.
Jose Ma. Valencia, TFI executive officer and provincial legal officer, said those who sold the property within the NNNP protected area to those who built the illegal structures will also face charges.
Some personnel of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources have also been linked to the illegal sale of property within the protected area, and they are investigating such claims, Valencia said.
Salvador Benedicto Mayor Jose Max Ortiz said the cases of those served the CDOs will be brought before the Protected Area Management Board for resolution.
Ortiz also pointed out that a bill creating the NNNP has yet to be approved by Congress.
Untal, on the other hand, said the NNNP was created by virtue of a presidential decree covered in the National Integrated Protected Areas System Act.*CPG