‘SHUT THEM DOWN’: 300 Boracay businesses face closure

THE beautiful Boracay Sunset is a major attraction in the island-resort. The DENR ordered the closure of 300 establishments in Boracay Island after President Duterte threatened to close down the island if its environmental problems are not resolved. (Ricky D. Alejo)

THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) central office ordered the closure of 300 business establishments in Boracay Island for violating environmental laws.

Cimatu issued the announcement at the launch of the Green Film Festival at SM North Edsa in Quezon City on Feb 13, 2018, according to online news reports on GMA News and Manila Bulletin.

Cimatu said he instructed DENR-6 regional director Jim Sampulna to serve the notice of closure to 300 establishments which are not connected with the sewage system and lacks proper water system.

The DENR chief said the acts of the 300 establishments violate the Clean Water Act.

“I have already ordered the regional director to start closing the establishments that are noncompliant. Ibig sabihin lahat ng mga establishment na hindi nag-comply kasi meron kami yung environment office namin na similar we have now here I gave them a mission to go to the resorts and see kung sino ang nakakonekta sa sewage system at kung sino ang hindi naka-comply. So effective today ipapa-close ko yun ngayon,” Cimatu said.

“So we expect this will continue until we are able to solve the problem in Boracay pati ang wastewater and water doon na ginagamit. Ayoko na hindi matupad na utos ni Presidente. Inutos ko na ito sa regional director so expect na umpisa na itong ating campaign. I’m cleaning the environmental of problem of Boracay starting with the sewage system.”

However, the order is not final as business establishments in Boracay two months to comply with environmental laws.

But if they fail to correct their violations, the Pollution and Adjudication Board will issue a cease and desist order.

The 300 establishment account for 40 percent of the total number of establishments in the island-resort.

“I have instructed my regional director there na ibigay na ang notice of violation sa mga establishment. Then mag-usap-usap sila kung talagang wala na, isasarado na yan ngayon din. Kasi meron kami na listahan na hindi nakakonekta (sa sewage system) at yung tubig nila bumubukas na lang doon eto na ngayon ang uunahin ko,” Cimatu said.

The DENR was given six months to solve Boracay Island’s problems on orders of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte.

During the Manila Times’ Business Forum in Davao City on Feb 9, Pres. Duterte threatened to shut down Boracay if the environmental woes are not fixed in six months.

The president even described the island-resort as a “cesspool.”

In a meeting in Cebu on Feb 12, the President blamed local officials for allowing the structures to be built overlapping the coastline without a sewerage system. (With reports from GMA News Online and Manila Bulletin Online)

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