The City Government of Mati under Mayor Michelle Nakpil Rabat vows to support the shrimp growers in the city provided they comply with all of the requirements from the government.
In a meeting held at the City Mayor’s office Thursday, October 10, shrimp growers called Baname Growers in Barangay Dahican represented by Rashid Flores expressed their willingness to pay the necessary fees and comply with the requirements.
Flores said though that they are having a hard time complying with the requirements for the past years now since the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the local government have different and sometimes “conflicting” requirements.
During Thursday’s meeting, it was settled by the DENR and the city government officials to submit a list of requirements to Mayor Michelle by next week to which the Banami growers would comply for the issuance of their business permits.
It was learned that in the past administration, the Baname growers are having difficulty in getting a business permit due to the lack of zoning certificate from the City Planning.
This, said Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (Cenro) representative Raul Tabilawan, is due to the zoning ordinance of the city that needs to be revised.
Pending revision of the zoning classification, Mayor Michelle ordered the City Planning to issue zoning certificate to the Baname growers that have complied with the requirements.
With the zoning certificate, Baname growers can now apply for environmental clearance certificate from the DENR. With an ECC, the Baname growers can then be given their business permits by the City Government.
Mayor Michelle said that her administration’s ultimate goal is to regulate the growing shrimp industry in the City of Mati that have already encroached in the mangrove forest in Guang-Guang that is a declared protected area.
Mayor Michelle meanwhile appealed to Baname growers to stop their expansion and fastidiously comply with all the requirements asked of them so that they will have no problem with their operation.
Mayor Michelle said they must strike the right balance on the right to earn of the Baname growers and the protection of marine animals living in the protected area.
“We respect your right to live and right to earn. But other marine life must also be protected,” Mayor Michelle said.
Based on the record, there are 123 identified Baname growers operating in the city particularly in Dahican area and only 19 have permits. (CIO MATI)