Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu said that he is weighing on the possibility of implementing a moratorium on the construction of new buildings and establishment in Boracay in a bid to give a solution on the islands “overcrowding problem”.
The DENR’s move comes in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s stern campaign to depollute the tourist destination after it was compared to a “cesspool.”
Recently, the DENR threatened to shut down some 51 establishments in Boracay after it violated Republic Act No. 9275, or the Clean Water Act of 2004 for their lack of wastewater treatment facilities.
Meanwhile, DENR Undersecretary for Policy, Planning and International Relations Jonas Leones, said that they will also be filing criminal charges against owners of illegal structures in areas in Boracay classified as forestland, in pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 705 or the Forestry Reform Code of the Philippines.
According to Leones, the illegal structures will be demolished.
“The compliance of the local government of Boracay to RA 9003 will also be evaluated. There are too many resorts and people in Boracay that the island has gone beyond its carrying capacity,” he said.
On Monday, the DENR said that it has mobilized its resources to tackle the environmental problems “besetting the world-famous Boracay Island to comply with the six-month deadline set by President Duterte.”
Cimatu added that he will bring in all bureaus and attached agencies of the DENR, including the Environmental Management Bureau and the Forest Management Bureau, in addressing Boracay’s serious garbage and wastewater woes and rehabilitate the world-renowned island paradise.
From January to October 2017, Boracay catered to over 1,600,00 visitors where it generated a total of Php 46,526,574,162.00 in tourism receipts.