Sitio Liwliwa in Barangay Santo Niño, San Felipe, Zambales is home to beautiful beaches and resorts. When it became popular as a swimming site, land grabbing reared its ugly head.
SAN FELIPE, Zambales — Legitimate resort owners and operators in this coastal municipality are denouncing the seemingly unabated land grabbing activities of individuals which are threatening their peaceful business.
Resort owners claimed that there have been unacceptable incidents of land grabbing in their communities, particularly in Sitio Liwliwa, Barangay Santo Niño, San Felipe, Zambales.
The community is a popular site among tourists, especially beachgoers and campers. In an interview with one of the resort owners who requested to be anonymous for security reasons, the resort owner suggested that immediate action should be taken by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), through CENRO Officer Joel Dellosa, who has jurisdiction over the area.
They alleged that there are groups of individuals who seem to be untouchables and continue to grab as they please privately owned lands to expand their properties.
Disrespect of the law
“Many times they ignored the orders to vacate issued by the CENRO and Municipal Engineering Office, which showed deliberate disrespect of the law,” one resort owner said.
The businessman-source claimed that he filed a complaint in the office of the municipal mayor and the CENRO against some individuals who erected a concrete fence inside his property without any legal document of ownership.
The aggrieved business owners believe that these land grabbers are being protected by erring government officials who connive with the land syndicates since Liwliwa became a popular beach swimming area in 2019.
Owners calling out DENR
Due to the worsening situation with the fear of losing more portions of their properties to land grabbers, resort owners here are calling on DENR Regional Executive Director Ralph C. Pablo, ARD for Technical Services Ricky Hernandez, and CENRO Dellosa to act on the matter immediately to stop these illegal activities.
“Only with the intervention of the government, through DENR-CENRO, that we can hope that massive land grabbing in our community will be investigated and those who are involved are penalized,” the resort owners said.
They also call on the local government of San Felipe to support the plight of legitimate resort owners and join them in condemning the illicit activities of the alleged land grabbers.
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