San Carlos to pay fine, amend ECC

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Friday, July 4, 2014

THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 7 has fined the University of San Carlos (USC) over an ongoing road access project the school is implementing in its campus in Sitio Nasipit, Barangay Talamban, Cebu City.

Following a technical conference at the DENR 7 office yesterday, the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) 7 has required the USC to pay a P25,000 fine for violating one of the conditions in its environmental compliance certificate (ECC).

While school officials explained they are only conducting sidewalk works, they said they are willing to pay the fine. They also said they will amend the ECC, which they applied for in 2004 yet, before the deadline on Aug. 5.



Engr. Rizalina Saberon, EMB 7 planning and environmental education and information division chief, said the school was only allowed to widen the road by 8.6 meters.

But during an inspection, they found that the school is widening the road by 16 meters.

The fine for violating one of the ECC’s conditions is usually P50,000, but this was downgraded since it is the school’s only and first violation.

In a separate interview, Fr. Ernesto Lagura, SVD, USC’s consultant for administrative affairs and in-house legal counsel, said they will comply with the EMB 7’s requirements.

He said he told the EMB 7 that the school is only widening the sidewalk on both sides and not the whole road itself.

Not on the table

While the discussion centered on the school’s ongoing road access project, there was no mention of sanctions for the ongoing tree-cutting and earth-moving activities inside the Talamban campus.

Saberon said these were not included in their investigation since these are not part of her office’s mandate.

However, she clarified that any tree that is cut inside a private property is legal as long as the felled tree is not transported to another place.

Saberon said they are coordinating with the DENR 7’s Forest Management Bureau regarding the matter.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 05, 2014.

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