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DENR puts 51 Boracay establishments on notice

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PHOTO BY CRECENCIO CRUZ

ILOILO CITY — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) issued Notices of Violation to 51 establishments on the resort island of Boracay in Malay, Aklan on Feb 14.

Majority of the businesses were found to have violated the Clean Water Act, according to DENR-Western Visayas Director Jim O. Sampulna.

Mr. Sampulna said resorts, hotels, and restaurants, among others, were included in the 300 establishments recommended for closure by DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu.

“The notices would not mean immediate closure. They will still undergo due process,” Mr. Sampulna said in a statement.

A technical conference to determine compliance will be held 15 days after the issue of the notice.

In a meeting with stakeholders on Feb. 14, Mr. Sampulna challenged the business owners to immediately take action, before President Rodrigo R. Duterte himself visits Boracay.

Last week, Mr. Duterte gave a six-month ultimatum to stakeholders to address the environmental issues in Boracay and threatened to close the island, one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations.

The island’s main problem has been untreated wastewater, with establishments failing to connect to the systems of Boracay Tubi System, Inc. or Boracay Island Water Company, and instead dumping their sewage straight into the sea.

Mr. Sampulna said the agency needs around P10 million to implement the crackdown.

Aklan Gov. Florencio T. Miraflores has committed counterpart funding of P5 million. — Louine Hope U. Conserva