The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will be updating the master plan for Boracay to include the neighboring islands in the Northern Aklan region.
In a statement on Tuesday, April 24, Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said that the revision of the masterplan, which will be undertaken during the six month-long closure, will be done to boost tourism revenues.
“Within that period, we intend to put in place what we might call the ‘First aid’ solution to Boracay’s problems: […] putting the sewage and solid waste systems in place; demolish illegal structures, whether big or small – in the foreshore, on wetlands, in forest lands or even within road easements,” he added.
The masterplan, which initially only covered Boracay island, will now cover Carabao, Caticlan, Malay and possibly Romblon.
The Boracay island will be closed to tourists starting April 26, Thursday, to allow uninhibited rehabilitation and demolition of illegally-built establishments.
Aside from this, Mr. Cimatu said that the inter-agency task force set up will also cover the tourism program of the island and the welfare of the Atis. — Anna Gabriela A. Mogato