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12 Boracay establishments dumping dirty water into sea

Tourists enjoy the sunset on Boracay Island. —MARK ALVIC ESPLANA

Tourists enjoy the sunset on Boracay Island. —MARK ALVIC ESPLANA

ILOILO CITY — The Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) has issued notices of violation to 12 commercial establishments on Boracay Island in Aklan province for discharging their wastewater into the storm drain leading to the sea on the resort island’s eastern section.

Ariel Gloria, EMB regional director for Western Visayas, said the pipes from the establishments leading to the storm drain canals had been plugged. He said wastewater should be directed to the sewerage system that is connected to treatment plants operated by the Boracay Island Water Company and Boracay Tubi System Inc.

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Establishments and houses on the island are required to connect to the sewerage system or build their own water treatment facilities.

Gloria declined to identify the erring establishments, saying their owners had yet to respond to notices of violation issued by the EMB. But he said the violators included big hotels and resorts.

Violators face a fine of P50,000 while the local government can revoke their business permits.

Gloria said the a task force composed of representatives from the EMB, the Malay local government and business operators on the island had been inspecting establishment that are not connected to the sewerage system.

“We had to use a jackhammer to remove concrete covers and pavements to confirm that they were discharging their wastewater into the storm drain canals,” he told the Inquirer.

He said the connections were then plugged with concrete to prevent further discharges to the storm drain canals.

The storm drain canals are intended to catch excess rain and surface water, which are then discharged into the sea in Sitio Bulabog in Barangay Balabag.

Residents and guests had complained of the foul odor in the water in this area believed to be caused by the dumping of wastewater.

Managing wastewater is among critical concerns of the island which have been plagued by environmental problems brought by unregulated development, laxity in enforcement of laws and rules, and continued surge in tourist arrivals.

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TAGS: Ariel Gloria, Boracay dirty water, EMB, environmental management bureau
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