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Wharf already violated law since construction phase, expert says

By Edwin Iyo
Correspondent .

Gingoog City — The controversial wharf owned by Cezar Casiño has been violating the law since its construction in 2018, this city’s environment and natural resources office chief Genevieve Cruz said.

Cruz explained that when the wharf was constructed fish habitat in the area were destroyed and is a violation of Republic Act 8550 under section 11 which protects rare, threatened, and endangered species.

The alleged illegal construction of the wharf has been constructed within the coral reefs and fishing ground located at the coastal area of barangay Punong, this city.

During construction of the wharf it caused damaged and destroyed the fishing ground and the coral reefs said Cruz.

Cruz said she has submitted a report some 11 months ago on the situation to the city mayor’s office for immediate action regarding the matter.

But her report is still pending until now, Cruz said.

“The wharf construction is located directly covering the robust live communities of sea grasses, seaweed population and the clusters of massive coral reefs, at a water depth ranging from 10 to 17 feet,” reads part of Cruz’s report.

Cruz claimed the base of the wharf effectively covered lush vegetation and communities of assorted corals, seagrasses, and sea weeds.

She said the expansion of the wharf, 65 meters in length and 35 meters in width, will be covering the highly critical habitat for fishes and other organisms in the marine ecosystem.

“We tried to step on the sea bottom, our feet was immediately covered with silt and mud from the wharf construction areas which was not the situation based on our previous dive in the area of barangay Punong,” Cruz said.

She added that the destruction of the precious criticsl fish habitat, which are the following the coral reefs, the sea grasses, and the seaweeds clearly violates the provisions stipulated under the Protection of Fish Habitat under section 11,protection of rare, threatened abd endangered species of RA 8550,the destruction of fish habitat as ammended under RA 10654.

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