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Fisheries Comm to tackle DITO settlement for coral reef restoration in Bonbon MPA

THE City Council Committee on Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, chaired by Councilor Christian Rustico M. Achas, is set to discuss the settlement to be entered into by and between the City Government of Cagayan de Oro and DITO Telecommunity Corporation (DITO), for Coral Reef Restoration in the Marine Protected Area (MPA) located at Barangay Bonbon.


It was learned that in June 2022 an underwater cable of DITO Telecommunication Corporation was installed within the MPA of Bonbon. The underwater cable was housed in a round metal tubing with a length of 100 meters and fixed in metal clamps which staked in to the coral colonies of said MPA.


In July 2022, a composite inspection team composed of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Region 10, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR)-Region 10, City Local Environment and Natural Resources Office (CLENRO), and Office of the City Agriculturist conducted a monitoring drive and recorded coral damages which include abrasions on massive corals, dislodgement of branching corals, and fragmentation of branching coral forms. For such damage, an estimated cost in the amount of P2,884,630.00 was prepared by the City Agriculturist to cover for the coral reef restoration activities which may take a total of 63 working days.

In its letter dated May 15, 2023, DITO, through its private contractor Huawei Marine Technologies (Huawei), has agreed to pay the amount of P1.4 million as a settlement for the aforesaid damage.

SEPARATE SETTLEMENT FOR BARANGAY BONBON


While the offer was acceptable to the city, the Punong Barangay of Bonbon, however, expressed his discontent over the agreed amount citing the same as “not enough”. He also manifested that the barangay itself also deserves a portion of the settlement considering the company’s failure to strictly observe the law on the preservation of the barangay’s MPA.


With this, representatives from the Office of the City Agriculture Office, DITO Telecommunication Corporation and Huawei Marine Technologies will be invited to attend the meeting to be scheduled soon.

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