Boracay will be gold standard for all PH resorts – Año
After conducting inspections in Boracay in the past two days, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said it wants to make the world-famous island the gold standard for all resorts in the country.
DILG Officer-In-Charge Secretary Eduardo M. Año said while local and foreign tourists will be welcome again to visit Boracay during the soft re-opening on Oct. 26, it will take about two years to complete the island’s rehabilitation.
“There will be a lot of laws and ordinances to be implemented in Boracay under our supervision to make sure that there will be no repeat of what happened before,” Año said in a news release Friday.
He said the immediate problems on violations of environmental laws in Boracay have been fixed after the six-month rehabilitation.
A Boracay Inter-agency Task Force composed of the DILG, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and the Department of Tourism (DOT) was created by President Rodrigo Duterte to carry out measures to save Boracay.
“Boracay is now very fresh and very orderly but of course there are still a lot of things to be done for the next two years,” he said.
Año said administrative cases had been filed against 18 erring local government officials for the mismanagement of the island.
Of this number, 17 officials were charged with administrative cases on gross neglect of duty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of service, and one was charged with grave misconduct, gross neglect of duty, and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of service.
Año added that during the soft re-opening on Oct. 26, only business establishments with properly functioning sewerage treatment plants (STPs) will be allowed to operate.
The task force earlier directed all residents and establishments to set up and use STPs via clustering or separate treatment plants to keep Boracay’s waters safe from wastewater.
He added that only those establishments that have been accredited by the DOT and cleared by the task force as fully compliant with local and environmental laws, such as the Environmental Compliance Certificate or Certificate of Non-Coverage, are allowed to re-open.
The “no floating structure” ban within 3 km. on the shoreline is also still in effect as part of the campaign to protect the beaches of Boracay.
“We will also conduct inspections in all other resorts across the country to ensure that these tourist destinations also comply with the existing environmental laws,” he said.
“Those that will be found negligent and remiss on environmental compliance will not be tolerated and will be made accountable just like what we did to Boracay,” he added.