No Closure Order: Business As Usual at Seven Seas

Apr 24, 2018

by PR

 

The owners and operators of the Philippine’s first pirate themed water park has clarified it continues normal operations and remains open to the public.

Seven Seas Waterpark and Resort in Bgy. Barra, Opol, Misamis Oriental has become a favorite weekend destination of people from all over Mindanao.

“In response to queries from visitors and tourists coming to Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental, would like to clarify the situation regarding the status of Seven Seas Waterpark and Resort,” said Elpidio M. Paras, president and CEO of UC-1 Corporation which owns and operates the water park.

“There is no truth to the rumor that there is a closure order against the Seven Seas Waterpark in Barra, Opol, Misamis Oriental. “he added.

Seven Seas Waterpark and Resort is still open for business daily from 9am till 5 pm and will continue doing so until it receives a court order.

“With thousands of visitor arrivals since we opened in December 2017, we expect Seven Seas Waterpark and Resort to be one of the premier tourist destinations in the Philippines, bringing our area to the international stage, providing hundreds of local jobs and business opportunities,” Paras said.

Crowds enjoying themselves at Seven Seas Waterpark and Resort Wave Pool.

“We thank Misamis Oriental Gov. Bambi Emano, Opol Mayor Maximino Seno, and DOT-X Regional Director May Salvaña-Unchuan, for their unsolicited support in ensuring the continued development of tourism in Northern Mindanao,” he added.

Paras decried how the unverified report made through some local media outlets has caused cancellations and disrupted booking schedules for some guests who were misled by the rumors of an impending closure of the waterpark.

Misamis Oriental Governor Yevgeny Vincente Emano in a press conference held April 16, expressed his willingness to mediate and initiate dialogue between the affected owners of beach resorts and the DENR following the agencies reported plans to close down beach resorts in at least three towns.

The governor said it is improper for the government agency to simply shut down multi-million resorts, like the Seven Seas Waterpark and Resort built in a 5-hectare complex in Barangay Barra, Opol, Misamis Oriental.

Emano said he will put up a legal team to deal with the DENR in court should closure orders be released against the identified resorts in Laguindingan, Opol and Initao, which DENR allegedly cited for various violations.

In a recent press conference, the DENR Region X legal office disclosed that the water park was built on land classified as timberland and that UC-1 Corporation is a respondent to a land title nullification case filed by the OSG (Office of the Solicitor General) in behalf of the DENR.

UC-1 Corporation is one of the five respondents in a recent case filed by the DENR as petitioner in January 2017 for the annulment of judgment of RTC, Branch 39 which granted the application for land registration of L.S. Properties Inc. (LSPI) in 2002 or over 15 years ago, which was the basis of the judicial titles of LSPI.

Subsequently, UC-1 Corporation bought in good faith the titled parcels of land from LSPI in 2012, now being used for the water park.

On January 19, 2018, the DENR via the OSG was granted a TRO (Temporary Restraining Order) by the Court of Appeals, Cagayan de Oro against respondents LSPI and UC-1 Corporation.

UC-1 was not served with a Writ of TRO until the said TRO was ordered lifted 38 days later on February 26, 2018. The OSG’s Application for Issuance of a Writ of Preliminary Injunction was denied by the appellate court in a Resolution promulgated on February 26, 2018. To date, there is neither restraining order nor injunction for the closure of the waterpark.

“For the record, UC-1 Corporation/ Seven Seas Waterpark and Resort has strictly complied with local LGU permits, acquired an ECC (Environmental Compliance Certificate) from the DENR in 2014 before construction started, installed a state of the art water treatment system and was granted a BOI (Board of Investments) certificate under pioneering theme park category in 2017.”

The company also has a DARRO Conversion Order issued by the Department of Agrarian Reform which has converted subject lots from agricultural to commercial use.

Paras also said, “For its part in in complying with the environmental regulations governing resorts and tourism establishments, UC-1 Corporation management assures the DENR, that it will continuously help the agency in its mandate for a sustainable and viable environment especially in areas of its operations in Dahilayan, Bukidnon and Opol, Misamis Oriental.”

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