President Rodrigo Duterte has warned that if the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) fails to address environmental problems on Boracay Island within six months, he would close the latter.
“I will close Boracay. It’s a cesspool,” Duterte said in a business forum in Davao City on Friday.
“You go into the water, it’s smelly. Smell of what? Shit.Because everything that goes out on the island…it’s destroying the environment or the Republic of the Philippines and creating a disaster coming.”
He ordered DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu to take actions to address the problems hounding the world-famous island in Malay town, Aklan province.
“I told him to run after those business establishments that do not comply with environmental regulations,” Duterte said.
There are establishments on the island that do not connect to the sewerage system. They discharge untreated wastewater directly to the sea.
If this and other problems will not be resolved, Duterte said: “There will be a time that no more foreigners will go there because he will have—when he goes back to the plane to where he belongs, he will full of shit.”
Last year, the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB-6) issued notices of violation to 12 commercial establishments.
On January 9, 2018, Cimatu and Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Wanda Teo joined a team that conducted an aerial inspection of Boracay.
Cimatu observed that a large volume of both residential and commercial structures even on timberland areas or forestlands.
He said that those structures on forestlands are considered illegal under the law.
“Hindi sila dapat nandoon. Nakita ko marami ng nagconstruct doon ng mga bahay nila, ‘yong mga construction workers, contractors at tauhan nila.”
“Karamihan pa sa mga bahay na ‘to at hindi connected sa sewerage system so their wastewater direkta sa dagat.”
Aside from sewerage problem, Boracay is also suffering from “overpopulation, flooding, and uncontrolled development,” according to the Boracay Foundation, Inc. (BFI), a group of businessmen on the island.IMT