DENR: 3 of 12 wetlands on Boracay Island disappeared
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said on Wednesday that three of the 12 wetlands on Boracay Island could not be located.
Wetlands are land areas that could serve as catch basins to prevent flooding in Boracay.
“Yung significance nila is to absorb yung flooding ng Boracay, and one of the reasons that has already been identified is kapag natambakan yung mga wetlands natin, eh yun ang isang dahilan kung bakit nagkakaroon ng baha” (The wetlands are significant because they absorb the flooding of Boracay and one of the reasons for flooding already identified is when these wetlands are covered), DENR-Biodiversity Management Bureau Director Teresa Mundita Lim said during a press briefing.
Only nine of the 12 wetlands on the island were located by the DENR.
“Historically, we were able to identify 12 wetlands in the area, pero (but) by 2008 po hindi na po namin ma-locate yung tatlo na (we could no longer locate the three) wetlands,” Lim said.
In March, DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu also disclosed that out of the nine wetlands remaining, four were already occupied by businessmen.
More than 200 notices of violations, cease and desist orders, and demolition notices have also been issued to at least 100 illegal settlers, a mall, and a hotel found in the occupied wetlands in Boracay during the said month.
The total closure of Boracay island for six months has been approved by President Rodrigo Duterte to give way to the restoration of the island./lb
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