THE government is on track in its efforts to rehabilitate Boracay island, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said as it declared White Beach clean and the effort to improve water quality on the island “almost there.”
Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said in a statement that daily and weekly monitoring results are showing improvement for Boracay’s main beach area, though the cleanup of the sea frontage in barangay Balabag on the opposite side of the island will take time.
“[White beach] is already clean, you can see the pictures and it’s already clean. It’s only the Balabag where some fine-tuning is happening right now,” he added.
“We are only waiting for the finishing of the roads. In terms of water quality, we are almost there. If we can open the island before the deadline, we will.”
President Rodrigo R. Duterte ordered the resort island to be closed on April 26 to allow for a six-month rehabilitation.
The DENR has ordered water concessionaires to collaborate in dealing with untreated wastewater and increase the capacity of their sewage treatment plants in the island.
National Solid Waste Management Commission Executive Director Eligio T. Ildefonso said that the local government will be implementing a policy of solid waste segregation
“As far as solid waste management is concerned, we are on track,” he added.
“If you go to Boracay you can see that there isn’t much trash. If you do, it will be only because of a few violators but we are strictly implementing the right garbage disposal in Boracay.”
As for plans for a waste-to-energy (WTE) plant, Mr. Ildefonso clarified that a facility will not be built on Boracay itself.
“It will be built in (on Panay). If we segregate properly, then it will be manageable even before we need to put up a waste to energy plant,” he added.
Mr. Ildefonso said that the WTE plant is a “long-term” project with a timeline of about 10 years.
“Based on the projection, the garbage generated will keep on increasing in volume in Boracay and Malay,” he said, referring to the municipality on Panay which has jurisdiction over Boracay.
Boracay Island Water Co., Inc. proposed to Malay to set up a WTE plant through Manila Water Total Solutions. — Anna Gabriela A. Mogato