ILOILO CITY, Philippines — The regional office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Western Visayas issued notices of violation to 51 business establishments in Boracay island in Malay, Aklan Thursday.
The still unnamed establishments received the notices from DENR’s Environment Management Bureau (EMB).
Regional director Jim Sampulnasaid the notices were issued to various hotels, resorts and restaurants.
The move came a few days after President Rodrigo R. Duterte threatened to shut down the island resort.
“The violations are ranging from many kind of environmental violations particularly water (Clean Water Act),” he said in an interview Thursday.
Sampulna said these 51 establishments are part of the 300 establishments on the list of DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu, who recommended the closure.
But Sampulna clarified that the notices did not mean immediate closure as he assured that due process is being followed.
Fifteen days after the issuance of notices, a technical conference will be conducted with the Pollution Adjudication Bureau, he said.
“If they have not corrected their violations and will not meet the conditions set by the DENR, closure will happen,” he stressed.
The establishments given notices of violations are dumping their wastewater into the sea instead of connecting to the sewage systems of Boracay Tubi System Inc. or Boracay Island Water Company (BIWC), Sampulna said.
He said that their investigating teams would further check the wastewater connections of other establishments.
Initially, Sampulna said that BIWC committed to provide manpower and equipment for the environmental crackdown, “however, they need funds,” he said.
Sampulna said Aklan Governor Florencio Miraflores already committed to provide PHP5-million budget while DENR-6 is also looking for source of additional PHP5 million to fund manpower and equipment.
Duterte ordered local officials to clean up the Boracay island or he will close it permanently. He threatened to file charges of serious neglect of duty against local officials in Boracay for making it into a “sewer pool”.-Cindy Ferrer/PNA
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