The 1.5km stretch of the Parang beach pictured in April 2012 … squatter families contributed much in polluting the shoreline. – MWBuzzpic by A P HERNANDEZ
By ALFREDO P HERNANDEZ
SQUATTER FAMILIES living along the shoreline in Parang, Jose Panganiban, CamNorte, will be relocated to pave way for the development of the beach as part of the local government’s tourism program.
Under the plan, the squatter families numbering close to 500 will be relocated to Spurline, a former community in Larap during the height of the operations of the iron mine owned by the Philippine Iron Mines (PIM).
Spurline stretches towards Larap along the road about a kilometer and half from the Spurline concrete bridge.
The target households along the 1.5km shoreline stretch are mostly fisher folks who came from different areas in CamNorte and neighboring provinces and settled along the beach of Parang years ago.
The shanties they occupied were built illegally.
The development of Parang beach to sell Mambulao as another tourist destination in the province was unveiled by Mayor Ricarte Padilla during a recent meeting with the officers of the Jose Panganiban National High School Alumni Association (JPNHSAA) and LaPIMa (Laking PIM Ako) in Makati City.
It was supposed to be a simple courtesy call to the town executive who was in Metro Manila on official business.
However, the officers decided to raise their concerns about the problems faced by Mambulao and also to lay down plans to help the municipal government push development from a second class municipality to first class.
Padilla said Spurline is ideal for the relocation-target fishing families since it is located just next to the waters of Mambulao Bay.
He said that it was a thriving community during the days of Larap mines and there’s no reason that it could not be revived these days to become one again.
He said that by the time the squatter-families’ are relocated, the road to Larap from Parang shall have been concreted with piped water from Mambulao poblacion installed for their needs and also for those of the Larap residents.
New schools would be built to cater to the children of new settlers and those of communities nearby, such as baranggays Sta Milagrosa and Pag-Asa, according to the plan.
There was no exact timetable within which to realize this project.
However, it was hinted that Padilla will try to accomplish this project in the next six years as mayor of Jose Panganiban starting July.
He told MWBuzz last April that he intends to stay as mayor for nine years as it is the only way to bring development in the municipality and at the same time ensure its sustainability.
The incumbent mayor is seeking his first re-election with no opposition, thus giving him another three years up to 2016 to clean up the beach of Parang, which has been inundated by household rubbish and other polluting materials, and prepare it for its actual development.
Since he is allowed by law to seek a third term, which would be his last for a re-election, Padilla is expected to develop the beach during this period.
Fishermen interviewed by MWBuzz last April said they were willing to be relocated as long as the local government will provide them a suitable place.
The fishermen were interviewed regarding the pollution of the beach caused by the household wastes they were dumping into the shoreline.
They were also told that their shanties would be demolished by the local government for being illegally built.
They said that they were not the only ones causing waste pollution on the beach but also those households in barangays along the coastal water.
“Pag ta-ib po sa gabi, hakot po ng tubig-dagat sa Parang beach ang mga basura galing sa mga baranggay tulad po ng Pag-asa, Sta Milagrosa, Calero, Osmena, Bagong-bayan at iyong pong mga nakatira sa gilid ng ilog-pakatan sa gilid ng Parang.”
“Kaya po sa umaga, makikita ninyo sa buhangin ang bagong tumpok na mga dumi na iniwan ng tubig-dagat nang ito’y magkati ng nagdaang gabi
“Pero, kung may paglalagyan po naman sa amin na maayos at hindi kami mahihirapan sa aming paghahanap-buhay, papayag po kami…” according to one fisherman, whose family has been living along the beach for the past 20 years. His family originally came from Bicol.
An engineer with the Mayor’s Office told MWBuzz last April of a plan to build a lamp-lit boulevard along the beach, starting from the Larap road segment near the Ramon Adea property, to the spot where the present public market is located.
He said they’re trying to resolve the issue on the squatter families and other illegally built structures along the shoreline.
Obviously, Padilla has finally resolved this tricky issue and will carry on.
Picture of Parang beach taken last April. - MWBuzzpic by ALFREDO P HERNANDEZ
For comments, email the writer: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com