Boracay rehabilitation efforts to continue past reopening date

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Days before the world-famous island’s public reopening, Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu calls on government and stakeholder groups to “not be complacent” in continuing rehabilitation efforts. — DENR PHOTO

THERE is still a lot more rehabilitation work left to accomplish in Boracay before its looming public reopening next week, Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said.In a statement on Wednesday, Mr. Cimatu, who also heads the Boracay interagency task force, welcomed Aklanon guests as the first to partake in a “better Boracay.

At the closing of the first day of Boracay’s 11-day dry run, he said both the government and island stakeholders should not be complacent as they are still in the first phase of the rehabilitation.

“While much has been gained already, still a lot remains to be done and we still ask for your extended patience, support, and understanding,” he said, announcing that all projects will continue well past the island’s Oct. 26 soft opening.

Due to the successive typhoons that have passed through the country these past few months, the Environment chief said that they have “lost about 30 to 40 days of work.”

“[B]ut we will be able to compensate for this and finish the drainage system,” he said.

Calling the tourist destination a “cesspool”, President Rodrigo R. Duterte ordered Boracay closed for six months last April 26 to allow government and stakeholder forces to rehabilitate it.

Aside from housing far too many people within the island, several business establishments were found violating environmental laws such as directly dumping untreated waste water into the sea and building their establishments on protected areas.