- DILG is planning to place Boracay under a state of calamity
- This will accordingly fast-track infrastructures as part of the rehabilitation program
- Another proposal is to close the island from tourists for 60 days
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) is studying a proposal to put Boracay under state of calamity for 60 days as world-renowned island resort undergoes extensive clean-up and rehabilitation.
The idea has been put forward during the inter-agency briefing with the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on Wednesday, according to a DILG official.
“We are now proposing that Boracay Island be placed under a state of calamity. This was because during the initial meeting between Secretary Cimatu (DENR) and Secretary Año (DILG) last week, they talked about the possibility of closing the island or a moratorium on tourist visitations, to be able to fast-track whatever rehabilitation is needed on the island,” said Interior Assistant Secretary for Plans and Programs Epimaco V. Densing III.
Densing clarified, however, this is not total closure yet although there’s another proposal to close Boracay from tourists for 60 days.
Placing the island under a state of calamity, Densing added, would mean infrastructures could be fast-tracked, including the finishing up the drainage system.
“Drainage audit to dismantle illegal sewage connections, dismantle illegal structures with no building permits, and structures in forestlands, etc,” said Densing. “Investigate and hold accountable officials, local and national, for the degradation of the island’s environment, etc.”
During Cimatu’s visit to Boracay early this week, the Environment chief said he was surprised to discover so many ‘violators’ of environmental laws and regulations.
He also warned that structures in the forest land without the Forest Land Use Agreement for Tourism Purposes (FLAgT) will be dismantled and removed.