DENR to deploy 50-member ‘mission team’ to Boracay

Secretary Roy A Cimatu of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on Monday announced the deployment of what he called “mission team” to address the environmental issues besetting the world-famous Boracay Island.

During the weekly flag-raising ceremony at the DENR central office in Quezon City, Cimatu said the mission team will be composed of 50 personnel from six regional offices of the department.

“The mission of the team will be to rehabilitate and restore Boracay in becoming again a paradise. We are given six months by the President,” Cimatu told DENR employees.

According to the environment chief, the island will be divided into six areas and each of the six regions will be assigned an area to work on. 

“We will be using all our government and the DENR assets and personnel to do this job.  Those who will be deployed will be on a rotation basis,” Cimatu said.

Cimatu said that Director Metodio Turbella of the DENR’s Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) is already in Boracay to assist DENR Region 6 Director Jim Sampulna.

He said that each bureau of the department is to contribute personnel to augment the DENR contingent in Boracay.

“Expect that the DENR will be there, about 50 personnel from all over the regions and from us (Central Office). We will start it right now, this Monday, our presence in Boracay,” Cimatu said. 

President Rodrigo recently tasked the DENR Secretary to find ways to end the problems hounding one of the country’s top tourist destinations.

The Chief Executive gave Cimatu six months to clean up Boracay, which he described as “cesspool,” or else the entire island will be shut down.

“This is really a marching order to us by the President and I must tell you now that we should not fail,” said the former Armed Forces chief.

“I say again, we should not fail, not only the President, we should not fail our people,” he added.

Last week, the DENR issued notices of violation to 51 out of 300 business establishments found to have violated some conditions in their environmental compliance certificates (ECC), including connection to the sewage treatment plant or installation of their own wastewater treatment facilities. ###

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