Duterte extends term of Boracay’s management task force to 2022 | Inquirer News
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Duterte extends term of Boracay’s management task force to 2022

To complete rehabilitation, compliance with beach and road easement rule halted by pandemic
/ 04:45 AM September 20, 2021

WELCOME BACK Boracay Island has reopened anew to tourists starting Sept. 16 as restrictions were eased both in Aklan province and in Metro Manila, its main market of leisure travelers. —JACK JARILLA

ILOILO CITY, Iloilo, Philippines — Unfinished rehabilitation activities on Boracay Island have prompted another one-year extension of the term of the interagency task force managing the island’s rehabilitation.

About a fifth of the 339 establishments along the beach are still not compliant with the 30-meter easement while 17 percent of 1,230 establishments have not complied with the 20-m easement along the main road as of April 30, according to Executive Order No. 147 issued by President Rodrigo Duterte on Sept. 14.

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The executive order extended the term of the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF) to June 30, 2022.

The BIATF was created to oversee the rehabilitation of the island when it was closed to tourists from April 26 to Oct. 2 in 2018. The term of the task force was to end on May 8, 2020, and was extended until May this year.

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Unprecedented delays

In extending the term of the BIATF, the president said that the COVID-19 pandemic and imposition of community quarantine measures “resulted in unprecedented delays and massive disruptions on the implementation of critical programs and projects.”

Aside from the beach and road easements issue, two out of the four phases of the Boracay circumferential road have not been completed.

The completed first two phases cover about half of the 21.64-kilometer road, the main access connecting the island’s three villages — Manoc-Manoc, Balabag and Yapak. Phase 3 is ongoing and the last phase is set to be implemented in 2022, according to the executive order.

Another major rehabilitation project that is yet to be finished is Phase 2 of the Boracay Drainage Improvement Project, which is 57 percent completed as of April.

The BIATF has reported that in addressing the sewerage problem on the island, 96 percent of accommodation establishments along the beach with at least 40 rooms have individual sewage treatment plants (STP). For accommodation establishments away from the main beach with at least 50 rooms, the compliance for putting up individual STPs is 95 percent.

The BIATF also recovered two wetlands from illegal settlers which are among the nine wetlands on the island undergoing rehabilitation, the executive order said.

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TAGS: Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force, Boracay rehabilitation, Rodrigo Duterte
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