STATEMENT OF SECRETARY ROY A. CIMATU ON BORACAY

The president has spoken. Boracay will be closed to tourists by april 26. The inter agency task force is finalizing the comprehensive action plan to properly administer the closure. On the part of the DENR,  our task to clean up and make Boracay a livable community and an enhanced tourism destination will be continuing even beyond the 6 month closure period.

We will make sure that Boracay’s waters will consistently pass international water quality standards. We will fast track the improvement and completion of the drainage and sewerage systems. Residual and bio waste will be disposed of through eco friendly technologies while stakeholders will be retrained on solid waste management.

The wetlands will be rehabilitated. Illegal structures, piled up debris, sediments and invasive alien species will be removed from these life giving areas. The forest will be recovered and properly taken cared of.

We will establish the Boracay Island Habitat in Barangay Yapak to serve as nesting ground for turtles. We will ensure that Puka Beach will really have puka shells.

We will continue to go after violators AND WILL MAKE SURE THAT THE ESTBLISHMENTS WILL TAKE CORRECTIVE MEASURES IN ACCORDANCE with standards.

We are aware of the need to balance the environmental and socio economic requirements as we undertake the closure. That is why we are proposing the expansion of the Task Force to include all agencies which will take care of the other concerns. These will include the DOLE, DSWD, TESDA, DOE, DOTr, DPWH and even the Department of Health.

Indeed, much needs to be done. After many years of unbridled expansion and the influx of mass tourism we need to restudy the master plan not only for Boracay but the entire province of Aklan as a prime tourism destination so that the jewel that the island has been known to be remains a jewel with proper and responsible care.

We enjoin all concerned to assist in this endeavor. Let us work together to make Boracay a livable community: a better, cleaner and safer destination we can all be proud of. 

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