CEBU CITY — Saying that the rice terraces-inspired luxury condominium project on top of Cebu mountains will cause worse flooding as several trees will be cut down, several netizens have mercilessly bashed former Pinoy Big Brother (PBB) winner Engineer Slater Young for defending the controversial endeavor.

Netizen Roentgen blasted: “The project was blamed for the flooding in Brgy. Guadalupe and nearby areas in Cebu City. Its development permit was revoked twice — in 2008 and 2011. Its Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) was approved by the following Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) in 2007.”

On September 5, another netizen Thirdy dared Young: “If you are ‘actually’ listening, stop the project and pay all disturbances to Mother Nature. You are not a great Architect because the fact that you’re pushing through the project and destroying nature itself qualifies you to be the worst one.”

But Young firmly stood his ground.

On his Facebook reels, also on Sept. 5, Young has assured their commitment that the project will adhere to environmental protection standards and best practices.

“We have been working on this project for a long long time, our team is composed of dedicated architects, a lot of engineers, and sustainability experts. We went through 300 revisions to make sure that we will build this according to the ‘best practices’ possible,” Young claimed.

The former PBB winner-turned-online influencer further said that the blueprint for The Rise at Monterrazas went through 300 revisions to address environmental issues raised by stakeholders. Over 100 architects worked on the project.

“I appreciate everyone who took the time to comment and narinig namin ang lahat nang (we heard all your) concerns ninyo and we continue to engage more expert groups and environmental advocates to look over our plans and our goal here is to listen,” Young stressed.

He vowed that in the coming days, he will be presenting full details of the project including the technical analysis and feasibility study to the public.

But what made some raise their eyebrows was the report that Engr. William Cuñado, head of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Environmental Impact Assessment and Management division, signed the environmental clearance for both the Monterrazas de Cebu and approved the reclamation projects in Manila Bay, which were recently halted by President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

Cuñado retired from the DENR in March 2023, leaving these issues under heightened scrutiny. (ai/mnm)