Task Force Boracay recommends 6-month closure despite stakeholders’ appeals
DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu during an inspection in Boracay Island
MANILA, Philippines — Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu said they have already submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte their recommendation to close Boracay Island for six months.
“Narecommend na namin. We will look into the accomplishments. We will do our best if we can comply with the six months or we can make it earlier the better,” said the environment secretary.
(We already recommended it. We will look into the accomplishments. We will do our best if we can comply with the six months or we can make it earlier the better.)
Nonetheless, Citamu said they have taken into consideration the steps taken by the local government of Malay, and stakeholders since they recommended to close down the island.
This includes the rehabilitation of their facilities and compliance with regulations.
For now, the DENR has already issued more than 700 notices of violation and over 70 notices to vacate.
The local government of Malay ordered the closure of more than 200 establishments due to lack of business permits.
The DENR vowed to rehabilitate the island even before the six-month closure is up.
The agency also coordinated with the two water companies on the island to immediately fix its sewage treatment facility and system.
The DENR will also give the LGU, the provincial government and stakeholders 15 days to present their accomplishments, noting it would be up to the president to decide on the next steps to take.
Meanwhile, concerned agencies will create an integrated closure plan for affected residents and workers of Boracay.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is also preparing the assistance it will give to them.
The DENR chief has once again reminded those who received notices to vacate the wet and forest lands to immediately comply with the requirements of the agency or else face charges from the government.
DENR’s recommendation is expected to be tackled during the Cabinet meeting on April 5. — Rey Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue
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