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May 16, 2018 @ 19:44

Netizens blame Villar’s condo project for killing forest, demolishing mountain in Boracay

 

A Boracay condo project of bilyonaryo Manny Villar has caused public outrage over photos and footage a flattened mountain top cleared of forest cover and with deep excavations caused by the construction of the project.

Both the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) have expressed concern on the environmental damage caused by Villar’s project, Costa Vista Boracay, amid the six-month closure of the island for its rehabilitation.

A video of the construction work was posted on Facebook by Tourism Philippines:

A mountain in Boracay was just flattened.

THIS IS BORACAY AFTER THE CLOSURE. The flat area you see used to be a mountain. This footage was taken on May 11, 2018. The location is between Eco-Village and way to Shangrila, Barangay Yapak, Boracay.

Posted by Tourism Philippines on Sunday, May 13, 2018

The netizen claimed the clip was taken only last May 11 in an area which used to be a forestland which was called home by Boracay’s endemic bats or flying foxes.

Villar’s project and the damage it has wrought has been discussed on Reddit:

The Boracay "rehab" is a LIE. One of its mountains is currently getting flattened and deforested. (Source: PDFF) from Philippines

In a statement, Vista Land & Lifescapes, Inc. Chief Legal Counsel Ma. Nalen SJ. Rosero said: ” The images appearing in the articles do not pertain to our project site. The area subject of our development is a developed resort with existing facilities. Moreover, it is our policy to respect and preserve the natural topography of the land. To do so is not only structurally sound but more importantly, environmentally friendly.”

She claimed that Vista Land has “slowed down” development works in the project since February this year with the significant reduction in number of equipment and workers in the area.

Villar is building six residential towers, private villas, a hotel, a clubhouse with pool, and commercial and convention center on the site. Villar is selling the studio, 1- and 2-bedroom units at P164,346 per square meter.

Villar’s son, Mark, is the Secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) which is spending nearly a billion to widen the roads on projects and complete the whole Boracay Circumferential Road and improve its drainage system.

Villar is spending P2.2 billion for the 6.5-hectare Costa Vista. He is spending another P4.4 billion to add 15 more hectares to the project.

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