Preserve the Nature in Malinao, Siargao Island

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PETITION AGAINST THE ROAD PROJECTS IN BARANGAY MALINAO, GENERAL LUNA CITY, SIARGAO ISLAND

We, the local community, including Malinao Barangay Captain ARNULFO ALCALA and all the barangay officials, Malinao Filipino residents, Malinao resorts, STOA members, foreign residents and business owners all over General Luna are strongly against any road concreting, road widening or bridge projects here in Malinao, as the project of the DPWH (10,7m widening and rising about 2 meters) is not only extremely unpopular but also:

o  a disaster for the environment and this protected area (mangrove forest)

o  a great danger for its residents with a severe risk of flooding after concreting

o  a disaster for Malinao unique, natural, untouched, preserved and laid-back atmosphere

o  a waste of Government funds for an unnecessary and unwanted project by the locals residents and LGU.

o  a very bad sign for Malinao economy as major resorts will be negatively impacted by such a project

o  a very bad signal sent for future eco-tourism resorts.

o  a disaster for Siargao tourism since it is well known and loved as the best natural white beach in the whole south coast of Siargao.

PLEASE SUPPORT AND HELP US PROTECTING OUR ONE AND ONLY SIARGAO.

THE FULL PETITION:

The undersigned support the preservation of Siargao as an island paradise eco-tourism destination as it is being promoted all over the world.

This petition is about last information received from DPWH this 27th day of September 2018 in regards a road project in the barangay Malinao, General Luna.

We are petitioning once again to show our strong opposition against any road concreting or widening in Malinao and we are asking for the road to be preserved as it is now (not cemented and dirt road), and its budget realigned for the following reasons:

1.       This road is completely unnecessary and can be perceived as overdevelopment or even waste of Government funds, considering that there is a road built few years ago going from Malinao to Union, and another highway from General Luna to Dapa. There is no need to build another national highway or concreting the existing one just to access a few properties, considering that the road leads to a dead end, surrounded by sea and mangroves protected area.

2.       The road project is not compatible with eco-tourism and might be perceived as environmental mismanagement, resulting with a negative impact publicity for Siargao. What makes our island a great tourist destination is our commitment to preserve the place in its original state and our strong advocate to care and protect the natural environment. Specially on those days, we must avoid the mistakes made in other tourist destinations that have not protected properly their natural environment, since this project will:

 

a)       Affect the beauty of this pristine area, one of the most beautiful and appreciated natural area in Siargao

b)      Jeopardize the operations of existing world-famous ecotourism resorts

c)       Compromise ongoing and future projects of development of eco-tourism resorts and spas in Malinao

d)      Compromise the privacy and safety of the existing residents.

 

3.       The road project is not compatible with existing protected-environmental laws and may turn out to be an environmental disaster, for the following reasons:

 

a)       Malinao is a sandy area, making unstable foundation for massive construction, such as concreting or widening.

b)      The area is prone to flooding during rainy season. The excess water may not be able to drain out from the highway and cause flooding to existing properties.

c)       Existing road is very close to the shoreline area, and if this will be concreting in the future, may have a negative impact.

d)      A big part of this pristine area is a mangrove forest protected area, and it will be destroyed if the road project will push through.

e)      Siargao is a booming travel destination and it deserves a judicious and ecologically-sound infrastructure development plan that includes road construction. The province has been acclaimed as one of the best islands in the world not because of its infrastructure but because of its natural, pristine beauty and biodiversity. These natural characteristics will be destroyed if roads and other infrastructure development projects will be pursued without careful planning including comprehensive socio-economic and environmental assessments

 

4.       We strongly believe that there has been no comprehensive assessment of the environmentally sensitive areas such as the beautiful mangrove forest and other tourist spots; no extensive inventory and valuation of natural resources that will have to be destroyed; and no mitigating measures to minimize or avoid environmental damage.  A strategic environmental assessment on road development in the province should be undertaken to consider its socio-economic feasibility, land characterization, environmental impact and climate change vulnerability.

We, the signatories of this petition, believes that there is a need to conduct consultations and discussions among a broad range of stakeholders, especially those who will be displaced and whose survival primarily depend on the eco-system services provided by the natural resources which will be destroyed in the road construction.

For all these reasons, we, the local community, including Malinao Barangay Captain ARNULFO ALCALA and all the barangay officials, Malinao Filipino residents,  Malinao resorts, STOA members, foreign residents and business owners all over General Luna, we respectfully request for the reconsideration of any potential future project of road/ bridge in the area mentioned above.

 

Most respectfully yours



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