300 closure notices issued
By Paulo Loreto Lim
After President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to get a handle of the ongoing pollution problem in Boracay within six months or risk having the resort destination shut down, DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu said, earlier this week, establishments found to be contributing to the pollution will be shuttered.
“Effective today, we’ll close down those establishments,” he affirmed.
Last year, the DENR Environmental Management Bureau and the Community Environment Office-Boracay issued notices to 12 businesses after it was discovered pipes were being illegally connected to storm drains, which were supposed to be utilized to collect rainwater.
Cimatu referred to such operations as “not complying with environmental regulations.”
Recently, Boracay Foundation Incorporated (BFI) responded to the president’s claims, calling him “misinformed” and suggested, as an alternative to a possible shut down, to “strictly enforce” existing laws.
However, despite the group previously releasing a statement, claiming, “Most of the island’s business establishments are strictly in compliance with prevailing ordinances and regulations,” DENR has since issued closure notices to around 300 establishments, about 40 percent of all businesses operating on the resort island.
The agency found these places were without a proper water system and not connected to the sewage system.
“We expect this will continue until we are able to solve the problem in Boracay,” Cimatu added./PLL, WDJ