By CONG B. CORRALES, Associate Editor
and JOEY NACALABAN, Correspondent .
THE Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has approved the conversion of the land on which Seven Seas Waterpark and Resort was built on.
This was the claim of the management of the theme park in Barra, Opol, Misamis Oriental, in an official statement sent to this paper on Thursday.
The infomation corroborates capitol’s earlier revelation that the Barra property was reclassified from agricultural to commercial for tax purposes in 2016.
In the statement, the management of Seven Seas said DAR issued a certificate that showed it approved the reclassification from agricultural to commercial status.
It also maintained that it has strictly complied with the rules and secured local government permits, and acquired an Environmental Compliance Certificate from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in 2014 before construction started.
The firm said it has installed the latest state-of-the-art water treatment system, and was granted a Board of Investments certificate under pioneering theme park category last year.
“We also would like to assure DENR that we will continue our efforts to protect, maintain, and ensure the sustainability and viability of the environment in our area of operations,” the firm said.
In the same statement, the management of the theme park said the DENR filed the petition for annulment of a judgment the Regional Trial Court-Branch 39 granted some 15 years ago.
It claimed that in 2002, RTC-Branch 39 granted the application for land registration of L.S. Properties Inc. (LSPI) which was the basis of the judicial titles.
“Subsequently, UC-1 Corporation bought in good faith the titled parcels of land from LSPI in 2012, now being used for the waterpark,” reads part of the statement.
It revealed though that the Court of Appeals-Mindanao granted DENR, through the Office of the Solicitor General, a temporary restraining order against UC-1 Corp. in Jan. 19. The TRO, however, was not served to the company until the order was lifted in Feb. 26.
“The OSG’s Application for Issuance of a Writ of Preliminary Injunction was denied by the Appellate Court in a resolution promulgated on Feb. 26, 2018. To date, there is no restraining order (or) injunction for the closure of the waterpark.”
The company issued the statement to dispel reports made that the theme park is facing a closure order by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
“There is no closure order… Seven Seas Waterpark and Resort continues to be open for business from 9 am till 5 pm daily,” it said.
DENR regional director Arleigh Adorable on Thursday confirmed that there was no closure order issued to Seven Seas resort.
Adorable said it came as a surprise to him that there was a misinformation that the DENR has issued such an order, pointing out that a directive like that would not come from the Department.
“I would just like to make it clear that since the issue started, there is no closure order issued to Seven Seas,” Adorable said.
Adorable said Seven Seas has not been found to have violated environmental laws but the firm’s is facing a land issue.
Adorable said the DENR was leaving the matter to the Office of the Solicitor General.