Town blocks resort of Baguio politician

TUBA, Benguet—Authorities here blocked the construction of a resort belonging to Baguio City Rep. Nicasio Aliping Jr. and his family inside the Mount Sto. Tomas watershed reservation.

Mayor Florencio Bentres issued a cease and desist order addressed to Rep. Aliping ordered him to stop all earthmoving activities within the 3,000 watershed in the absence of an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the development permit from the municipal government.

Gov. Nestor Fongwan said Baguio Water District’s supply to 50,000 households along Marcos Highway and Tuba is threatened by the construction.

A site inspection by BWD officials and teams from the Environment Management Bureau (EMB) showed more than 300 fully grown trees have been cut down along with massive bulldozing and excavation in the surroundings.

“The damage has already been done to our protected areas and no amount of assurance can cure the injury that was already inflicted to our potential water source,” Fongwan said.

Regfinal Director Paquito Moreno, of Department of Environment and Natural Resources in the Cordillera, confirmed that the road and eco-park projects of the Aliping family had no ECC because no application was made.

Engr. Salvador Royeca, BWD general manager, said the water district’s three springs have become contaminated due to excavation, resulting in murky water coming from the taps of households.

Bentres said Angpin has written to explain remediation measures but was told to secure all the necessary requirements first before doing anything else.

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