Walang permit! DENR in hot water over Mayon circumferential road project


Officers of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Bicol may be in hot water over a 261.4-km circumferential road around Mayon Volcano in Albay.

This was after residents as well as the Philippine Volcanology and Seismology and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources protested the road project.

The project, with an initial funding of P60 million, was halted after Phivolcs and DENR objected to it, with DENR Bicol assistant regional director Roberto Sheen saying it may file criminal and administrative charges against DPWH executives over the project.

Sheen particularly questioned the cutting of trees in the project sites believed to be within the protected area, without cutting permits or an Environmental Clearance Certificate.

Lawyer Maria Carmen Taopo of the Bicol Environment Management Bureau added they sent a show cause order to DPWH District Engineer Simon Arias.

Taopo said the DPWH is to answer within 10 days on why the circumferential road project was started without ECC, adding DPWH may be slapped a penalty of P50,000.

For his part, Phivolcs resident volcanologist Ed Laguerta said the road project may intrude into the 6-km Permanent Danger Zone at Mayon.

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