The adoption of the Leyte Provincial Foreshore Development and Management Plan (PFDMP) this year will lead to a better development and management of the foreshore areas of the province.

The plan is geared to curb the effects of natural disasters along the coastal and foreshore areas and save them from further degradation due to the increase of informal settlers and unregulated developmental activities.

“The formulation of this foreshore plan in the province which started in 2019 will address the issues confronting our coastal and foreshore areas in order to maximize not only their use but also the economic benefits that we derive from these resources,” says Engr. Winston Solite, Technical Services Division Chief of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (DENR-PENRO) Leyte.

Solite added that this foreshore plan will also intensify the role of the local government units (LGUs) in terms of managing their respective foreshore areas.

“Once the province adopts this development plan, a foreshore lease applicant will have to first seek clearance from the Municipal Planning and Development Officer of the concerned LGU to ensure that the purpose of the lease is in accordance with the comprehensive land use plan (CLUP). Otherwise, no clearance will be granted at the LGU level, “, he says.

DENR Regional Executive Director Tirso P. Parian says that this provincial foreshore plan to be adopted by the province through a provincial resolution will lead to a better co-management of the DENR, other government agencies and the LGUs of these foreshore areas.

“We have involved the local stakeholders and officials from the concerned LGUs including other government agencies concerned in the formulation of the foreshore development and management plan to ensure that their respective issues and concerns are considered. Likewise, this will empower them as front liners in managing the foreshore areas under their territorial jurisdiction,” RED Parian says.

Foreshore area refers to that part of the shore which is alternately covered and uncovered by the ebb and flow of tide.

Leyte has a foreshore area of 1,053.82 hectares with approximately 5, 370 occupants. Out of these, 5.49% or 295 of them come from Tacloban City.

The Leyte foreshore development and management plan covers 27 municipalities and 3 cities, including Tacloban City. The probable timeline for the adoption of this plan by the LGU is on the third quarter of 2020.