BORACAY MOUNTAIN CONSTRUCTION | ‘Viral images not from our project site’ – Vista Land
5 months ago
MAY 17, 2018 – Villar-owned Vista Land and Lifescapes Inc. denies allegations of conducting heavy construction work in Boracay island’s Yapak mountain.
A video of a backhoe digging on the side of a mountain has gone viral on Facebook, earning the ire of netizens. Reports have been identifying the location as Costa Vista Boracay, a residential condominium project of the Villars.
In a statement, Vista Land stressed that the viral photos and videos were not taken from their project site.
“…the images appearing in the articles do not pertain to our project site. The area subject of our development is a developed resort with existing facilities. Moreover, it is our policy to respect the natural topography of the land. To do so is not only structurally sound but more importantly, environmentally friendly.”
They also said that they have slowed down operations and reduced the number of workers in the area since February 2018, months before the implementation of the six-month closure order in April.
Construction projects, except for minor renovations in establishments, are prohibited in the island as part of the government’s rehabilitation order.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) warns Boracay establishment owners that sanctions will be given to violators of the ban.
“Pupuntahan namin at [bibigyan ng cease and desist order] at kakasuhan namin…They cannot undertake activities unless they secure [a] permit from us,” Environment Undersecretary Jonas Leones said.
Leones also mentioned that the agency has monitored and addressed two other construction activities reported on Facebook.
“Our team informed me na may title sila at mayroon din silang [Environmental Compliance Certificate]. Although our team advised the project (owners) to stop for the meantime. [Owners] thought since private land ‘yun, they can undertake earth movement. We told them na ihinto muna while we study the permits and validate ‘yung titles.”
DENR encourages the public to report any illegal activity in the area but also appeals to have information verified before making allegations.