Allocating foreshore areas in Masbate City takes on a new process

        Resolving conflict among claimants of foreshore in Masbate City will be tested as the Local Government Unit of Masbate City and DENR Community Environment and Natural Resources Office collaborate for an inventory and survey activity from September 16 to October 16, 2014.

          This idea is part of a response of both entities to mounting problems with informal settlers, illegal reclamation and double or multiple applications filed for a single foreshore area. The foreshore, a strip of land often submerged to water during high tide, has become highly contested due to its commercial value. There is also growing competition in using said area for recreation, maritime, and other public activities.

           Land Management Officer Jose Ferwelo of DENR CENRO Masbate initiated this joint inventory to generate a database for both DENR and LGU to use.

         Masbate City Mayor Rowena Tuason acceded to the plan by providing a survey team that will help DENR process public land applications, determine legitimate claimants, and occupants. These government entities will examine and review documents amid LGU concern over determining accurate amount of taxes and fees for the use of foreshore areas.

        DENR Regional Director Gilbert C. Gonzales is in agreement with Mayor Tuason that this move will help resolve conflicts as well as promote better tax collection. He alson said this is timely for DENR to chart a new direction in foreshore area management.

           As a result developers who would reclaim areas in the City could obtain proper guidance as to the areas open for public use. From a conflict-ridden foreshore, Masbate City will soon have a hard-working foreshore whose taxes are accounted for and directly accrue to the development projects of the City.

Press Release: October, 2014