PAOAY, Ilocos Norte –The Department of Environment and Natural Resources has again barred four-wheel drive sport-utility vehicles from using the famous Paoay sand dunes, where sand boarding as sports activity has attracted local and foreign tourists.
In a directive, the environment agency said that the halt order will go into effect until the provincial government has fully complied with its application for a Special Land Use Permit (SLUP) and that legislation is made on the 4×4 vehicles operations in the area.
Last January 11, DENR-Ilocos Norte issued a notice of discontinuation stating that there is a need to properly regulate the use of sand dunes in Paoay town “to ensure sustainable management of environment resources and at the same time, professionalize the operation of off-road vehicles to protect both owners’ livelihood and their passengers.”
Gov. Imee Marcos said it is high time the provincial government speed up the passage of legislation of 4×4 vehicle operations because things, she said, were were getting worse in the Paoay sand dunes. There is a need to review the the carrying capacity of the sand dunes and limit the operation of off-road vehicles in the area, she said..
In November last year, PENRO Ilocos Norte issued a cease of operation order due to non- compliance of necessary permits from appropriate authorities on the use of the sand dunes. The sand dune is a public land classified as timber or forest land and under DENR’s jurisdiction. Florante A. Nicolas, PENRO Ilocos Norte / northboundasia.com