DENR seizes ?Noah?s Ark? in Sarangani

In a press statement, the provincial information office of Sarangani said that nobody was around when Sr. Insp. Geronimo Dimayuga, Maitum police chief, inspected the boat in the coastal Barangay Piñol Tuesday. Nobody, too, claimed ownership of the boat.


Department of Environment and Natural Resources officials seized the boat last Aug. 23.


The boat is so huge that neighbors call it “Noah’s Ark.” It is two-story high and is longer than a basketball court at 94 feet, with a width of 18.5 feet.


The boat reportedly has three decks with bridge, crew cabin with built-in beds and engine room big enough to hold at least four cars.


Authorities said the purely wooden boat is already “60-percent complete.”


Local officials estimated that the boat would cost P5 million when completed and fitted with engine.


A public notice has been issued by the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) last Monday to inform the owner of the abandoned boat to submit legal documents to support the source of wood materials.


If the owner could not show proof, “this apprehended item shall be recommended forfeited in favor of the government,” said the notice. A barangay official was also furnished a copy of the notice.


CENRO Ruel Divino said that they are “facing a blank wall” on the Noah’s Ark case because nobody was apparently willing to divulge the identity of the owner “for fear of reprisal.”


He recommended that the boat “be disposed immediately thru public auction on an ‘as is where is’ basis.”


Divino said the lumber used has a scaled volume of 20,426.65 board feet of balete, yakal, and lambayao hardwood with total value of P612,799.


The boat has been placed under the custody of Pinol barangay kagawad Sarifa Ulangkaya.