President Rodrigo Duterte tasked two government agencies to hunt down violators of environmental laws in Boracay within six months, in a bid to solve environmental problems faced by the island, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said.
DOT Undersecretary Katherine De Castro said that Duterte ordered the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to fix the environmental problems in Boracay during a Cabinet meeting.
“The President gave six months to fix the problem of Boracay and he actually tasked both the DENR and DILG to act on it right away,” De Castro said.
The decision of the President was prompted by a draft executive order presented by the DOT and DENR for the creation of a task force to solve environmental problems in Boracay.
De Castro said while the President did not sign the draft EO, he said they would further review it. She added that the President wants more immediate action.
The undersecretary explained this means going after establishments violating Boracay laws as well as officials who have issued permits for establishments to operate.
“Basically, he was saying that the root cause of all the problems in Boracay is corruption,” De Castro said.
Among the various offenses committed by a number of Boracay establishments is the violation of the 25+5 law, which sets a 30-meter no-build zone from shore.
Another violation is the illegal tapping to the pipes of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone, wherein some establishments connect their sewage to pipes intended only for rain water.