Far from over
Oculam, in a phone interview Friday, said that the fight is not over yet, saying OLIDI won't take the issue sitting down. He said the move of the provincial board was expected from the very beginning. He added that he will convene OLIDI's board of directors to tackle the issue and take the necessary steps given the SP ruling.
On legal effects, the SP also argued that the authority given to then governor Aumentado "was only for negotiation." "No subsequent Resolution was passed by the (SP) before for the governor to enter into and sign the JVDA." Hence, it concluded that the JVDA "is unenforceable against the provincial government" and OLIDI "cannot demand from the current administration confirmation of the reclamation phase." SP's opposition to stop the project has reinforced the contention of Panglao lawmakers when the latter passed Municipal Resolution No. 140, 2011, series of 2010 on October 10, 2010, "strongly opposing the establishment of any form of reclamation projects within the municipal waters of Panglao, Bohol," considering that the area where the project is to be undertaken is "haven of coral diversity and a sanctuary of diverse marine resources. Earlier, the past SP ( 2007-2010) had passed provincial Resolution No. 2009-633, "authorizing the then governor Erico Aumentado to represent the provincial government of Bohol and enter into a negotiation for a joint venture and development agreement (JVDA) with the Oasis Leisure Islands Development Inc. on the proposed reclamation project, off Panglao Bay, Panglao, Bohol, provided, however, that the provisions and amendment to the JVDA as proposed by the provincial legal office shall be made an integral part of the same (JVDA)."
This became the basis of the OLIDI to pursue the project even as it is amenable for the conduct first of the feasibility study as required by the afore-quoted Resolution. No. 2009-633. Resolution No. 2009-633 provides Bohol environment policy should be the guiding principle in pursuing the project, including the province's commitment to growth and conservation of its natural resources and compliance with the relevant environmental regulations and other legal pre-requisites. Also, then governor Aumentado said in his letter-endorsement to the SP that "no reclamation activity will be commenced unless appropriate social preparation activities among the stakeholders and affected persons shall have been conducted.' He also pointed out that the conduct of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) must be adhered and Environmental Compliance Certificate issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).