Demolition of Korean resort in Talisay to be completed

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Forester Victor Mercado, (left) Protected Area Superintendent (PASu) of the Taal Volcano Protected Landscape (TVPL) talks to Justin Ko, a Korean businessman during the resumption of the demolition of the illegal structure owned by Jung Ang Leisure Resort which was built off the shoreline of Taal Lake in Barangay Buko, Talisay in Batangas on Friday, March 7. Ko who learned of the activity, went to the place and asked for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources official in charge of the activity. He introduced himself as a prospective investor who plans to put up a resort in nearby Barangay Sampaloc but wants to do it ‘clean’ and does not want to suffer Jung Ang’s fate. Mercado discussed the legal processes in setting up business and building of structures along the shorelines of the lake or anywhere within the TVPL, specifically respecting the easement area along the shorelines and securing the necessary permits from the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) and the local government units, and environmental clearance from the Environmental Management Bureau.

Mercado, leading a team of some 20 workers from the Provincial Engineering Office who were tasked to do the ‘demolition job,’ explained that the demolition is in compliance to the 2012 PAMB Resolution No. 9 which directed the PASu to “immediately undertake the stoppage of operations/closure and demolition of illegal floating restaurant being operated by Jung Ang Leisure Resort, Inc.” Demolition started in July 2012, and substantially disabled the ‘floating restaurant’ but has since stopped. The owner, a Korean national Kim Young Ok, has reportedly left the country. A criminal case filed against Kim, docketed as Crim. Case No. CR-13-03-6464 is still pending before the Regional Trial Court, Branch 83 in Tanauan City. The Korean national is also subject of a warrant of arrest.

Mercado, aside from his staff from the PASU Office based in Talisay, was backed up by a team from the Talisay Philippine National Police, PNP Batangas, Provincial Public Order and Safety Service (PPOSS) Office, Batangas Provincial Government-Environment and Natural Resources Office (PG-ENRO), Provincial Engineering Office (PEO), Batangas Health Office (PHO), Batangas Provincial Information Office (PIO) and DENR Region 4A Calabarzon Regional Public Affairs Office.

Right photo shows roofing sheets being removed by workers.

Mercado vowed to complete the demolition of the illegal structure soon.