Albay beefs up protection efforts for Mayon Volcano; Para di na maabuso
Mayon Volcano, one of the country’s major tourist attractions, is getting added protection courtesy of the Albay provincial government.
The Albay provincial council has unanimously approved laws governing the preservation and protection of the protected areas of Mayon.
Such laws stemmed from the controversy over the construction of the Mayon circumferential road.
Under the rules, any proposed project around Mayon by the Department of Public Works and Highways or any agencies shall first obtain clearances from other agencies including (http://bicoltoday.com/2018/01/02/albay-sp-approves-measures-for-mayon-protection/):
– Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology
– Department of Environment and Natural Resources
– Department of Tourism
– Albay Tourism Office
– Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office
But the Save Mayon Movement was not impressed by the recommendations, saying they skirted political figures behind the funding and hasty implementation of the initial P125-million Mayon road opening projects.
The alternate circumferential road project had been criticized by Phivolcs, DENR and Albay residents.
Initial investigation showed the DPWH’s Albay First District Engineering Office started the project in June 2017 without any clearance from Phivolcs or permits from DENR.
The project was exposed only last October, when it was criticized in social media.
Since then, the DENR issued a cease-and-desist order and has recovered close to 9,000 board feet of cut trees and logs in the project sites encroaching Mayon’s protected area.
Also, the SMM claimed the project is just the start of a P7-billion alternate circumferential road around Mayon measuring 264 kilometers.
The DPWH insisted it is merely building farm-to-market roads and is not aware of any proposed Mayon circumferential road.
For their part, Phivolcs and DENR voiced concern the project may worsen flooding in the lowland.
The DOT added the Mayon road construction was not part of the Tourism Infrastructure Priority projects.