Cafes with a view on the cliff’s edge

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BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – Cafes with a view, most of these literally on a cliff, are now teetering on the edge of being declared illegal after officials of Silay City issued them notices of violation following an on-site inspection two weekends ago.

“They don’t have the necessary permits,” Councilor Ryan Gamboa told DNX after he and several other officials led by Mayor Mark Andrew Golez inspected at least 30 roadside cafes and resorts in the upland villages of Guimbalaon and Patag.

The multi-agency joint inspection team even had a representative from the Central Negros Electric Cooperative.

Gamboa, who also sits in the Negros Occidental provincial council as representative of the Philippine Councilors League provincial chapter, said city officials were acting on complaints they have received about resorts and coffeeshops.

These complaints range from health protocol violations committed by patrons of these establishments to exorbitant rentals being charged by some resorts.

It was found out during the inspection that most of these local businesses do not have permits issued by City Hall or other agencies.

The Ceneco representative, Gamboa said, even confirmed that no commercial electric connection permits have been issued by their office for establishments operating in the area.

Gamboa added they are also asking for deputization from the Protected Areas Management Board or PAMB.

The PAMB has jurisdiction over remaining forest areas like the North Negros Forest Park where Guimbalaon and Patag are located.

Cafes with a view dot the roadside in the sub-village of Lantawan in Guimbalaon, along the road that cuts across mountains with remaining primary-growth forests in Negros island.

This road leads all the way to Patag, the village reputed as the last holdout of Japanese soldiers in the island during World War II.

It is now a known getaway for urban dwellers wanting to escape the summer heat.

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