‘One step forward, two steps backward.’
This is Department of Tourism Asst. Sec. Ricky Alegre’s response after President Rodrigo Duterte warned the public that it will close down major tourist area, Boracay.
According to Alegre, the public should understand that the President seeks for Boracay to be sustainable.
“Very passionate si President Duterte, ang dahilan niyan gusto niyang maging sustainable ang Boracay. Iyon ang intindihin dapat ng mga tao.” Alegre said during DZRH’s One On One.
The Tourism official further explained that Duterte has also ordered the DOT and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to check and close establishments with violations.
Alegre further revealed that Department of Interior and Local Government Officer-in-Charge Eduardo Ano will also file charges against local government officials who to continue to release permits to erring business owners.
“Kailangan checkin yung mga structure na may mga violations, ipasara, kasuhan.” Alegre further explained. “Yung mga local government officials na nag-bigay ng permit sa mga violator, kakasuhan ni Sec. Ano.”
Alegre also exposed that, during a House Committee hearing on Tourism, it was discovered that only 118 of the 500 tourism establishments in Boracay were inspected by the DENR and the Boracay Water Company.
Out of the 118 establishments, only 25 have connected to the main sewage line of the island known for its white beaches, and some connected their sewage line to the water drainage line.
“Yung water drainage line na dapat tubig lang ang pinupuntahan niyan, may nagkabit, illegally, ng kanilang sewage line. Kaya doon sa Balabag area, ang lumalabas ayaw ko ng i-explain.” Alabanza further explained.
Last February 9, Duterte made the warning of shutting down Boracay due to water pollution and ordered DENR Sec. Cimatu to clean up the tourist spot.