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DILG exec: Only 25 of 1,080 Boracay establishments are gov’t compliant

/ 06:52 PM May 18, 2018

In a nighttime operation conducted by the DENR, workers dig up a pipe suspected to be discharging waste water along the beach of Boracay Island (Photo by Nestor P. Burgos Jr. /INQUIRER VISAYAS)

BORACAY ISLAND, Aklan—Describing the rampant violations of rules and laws on Boracay Island as a “Wild, Wild West,” an official of an intergency task force revealed that only 25 of 1,080 inspected establishments (2.3 percent) on the island are compliant with government permits and requirements.

“Super gulat ako [I was very much surprised],” Interior Assistant Secretary Epimaco Densing III told reporters here at the sidelines of the first meeting of the interagency task force on the rehabilitation of Boracay Island.

In a report to the task force, Densing said that among those inspected, 427 were operating with no business permits, 207 lacked an Environmental Compliance Certificate, 199 had no building permits, 427 did not have a fire safety certificates, 412 failed to comply with PagIBIG, Social Security System and PhilHealth requirements and 112 had no sewerage treatment plants.

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He said the establishments that included big business firms were issued notice to comply.

While most of the establishments were currently not operating due to the closure of the island to tourists since April, they would not be allowed to reopen if they could not meet the requirements.

Densing said the violators operated or built their establishments even if these should not have been allowed.

The meeting, which was presided by Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, was also attended by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Public Works Secretary Mark Villar, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno and other officials.

Densing said the proposed budget for the six-month rehabilitation of the island was P1.36 billion.

These would include assistance to displaced residents and workers due to the temporary closure of most establishments and the absence of tourists and the rehabilitation of the island’s resources.

Diokno told the INQUIRER that he would sign the release of P490 million on Friday intended for the road building and expansion.

He could not determine immediately of these were part of the proposed P1.36 billion.

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The Department of Environment and Natural Resources reported to the task force that all illegal structures along the road from the Cagban port to the Rotunda along the main road of Boracay had been demolished by their owners or the Department of Public Works and Highways.

About 206 of the 308 non-compliant establishments with the 30-meter beach easement had been served with show cause orders.

Of the 842 settlers on forest lands, 341 had been sent notices to vacate.

Cimatu said the rehabilitation efforts were “on target” but said that these would continue even after the reopening of the island after six months. /jpv

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TAGS: Boracay, Densing, environment, Interagency Task Force, Regions
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