As of Oct. 8, 159 establishments in Boracay have received certification for complying with “90 to 95%” of environmental regulations. — PHILSTAR

By Anna Gabriela A. Mogato

THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources has lifted the suspension on the environmental compliance certificates (ECC) of “complying” businesses in Boracay, weeks ahead of the island’s reopening to the general public.

In a statement on Friday, Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu announced that he had issued the Memorandum Circular 2018-14 dated October 5, green-lighting the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) in Region 6 to lift the suspension on ECCs made last July. The suspension was intended to give the Department of Environment and Natural Resources time to review business compliance to both local and national laws.

Shortly after lifting the suspension, Mr. Cimatu said that “the EMB Regional Office 6 shall continue to monitor establishments despite such lifting of suspension of their respective ECCs.”

“[EMB will also] monitor all establishments issued with Certificate of Non-Coverage (CNC) to ensure their compliance with environmental laws and assure that no violation against the same is committed,” he added.

CNCs are issued to proposed projects that are deemed unlikely to cause environmental problems. Business that pose potential environmental risks, on the other hand, are required to secure ECCs.

The DENR also began to issue Certificates of Conditional Approval (CCAs) to businesses that are “90% to 95%” compliant with environmental regulations.

These businesses have complied with all regulations save for sewage treatment facilities, which may still be under construction. As of Oct. 8, 159 establishments have received their CCAs.

These businesses can proceed to have their permits assessed by the Department of Interior and Local Government before receiving clearance from Department of Tourism to operate once the island opens.