Whale shark sighting means Boracay cleanup successful: Palace

A whale shark was spotted in the waters of Boracay Island. (Photo by Boracay Philippines)

The presence of a whale shark off Boracay Island shows that the efforts to bring back the pristine waters of the popular tourist destination have succeeded, Malacañang said Monday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this reaction following media reports about the sighting of a whale shark last Saturday, nearly two months after the six-month rehabilitation started on the famous island paradise.

“That shows that the efforts to cleanup Boracay have succeeded,” Roque said in a press conference in Cagayan de Oro City.

Roque commended the inter-agency task force created by President Rodrigo Duterte on May 9 to reverse the degradation of Boracay Island.

“If you are able to attract a whale shark, that means you must have pristine waters in Boracay. Congratulations to all those involved in the rehabilitation of Boracay,” Roque said.

Duterte, in his Executive Order No. 53 that formed Boracay task force, said “years of indiscriminate development have led to environmental degradation, pollution and the depletion and destruction of the island’s biodiversity.”

Early this year, the President had in fact described Boracay as ‘cesspool’ due to the island’s worsening sewage conditions.

Upon the President’s order, Boracay was closed to tourists on April 26 to give way to a six-month rehabilitation period aimed at bringing back the island’s pristine white sands and crystal clear waters.

Last week, the task force headed by Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu said that Boracay Island will be opened not later than October 26 this year.PNA