DENR sends mission team to save Boracay

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has sent out a mission team to address pending environmental issued of Boracay island.

Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu said the mission team is composed of 50 personnel from six regional offices of the DENR. The island will be divided into six areas and each of the six regional offices will be assigned an area to work on.

“The mission of the team is to rehabilitate and restore Boracay in becoming a paradise again. We are given six months by the President.We will be using all DENR assets and personnel to do this job. Those who will be deployed will be on a rotation basis,” he said.

“Expect that the DENR will be there, about 50 personnel from all over the regions and from the central office. We will start right now so our presence is immediately felt in Boracay,” he added.

President Duterte has earlies tagged the island as a “cesspoll” and has warned that he will “close” it if environmental issues continue to rise.

About only 50 to 60 percent of all establishment in Boracay are compliant with the Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004. The ernvironmental concern of Boracay comes from the non-compliant percentage who direct their wastes to a canal linked to the sea.

The DENR has also violation notices to 51 out of 300 business establishments which are found to violate some conditions in their environmental compliance certificates (ECCs).

Meanwhile, the local government of Malay, Aklan expressed dispappointment on photos showing the dirty and disturbed side of Boracay from television reports.

According to the local government, the pictures do not reflect the current state of the island.

“We do accept the constructive criticisms of our President and use it as the fundamental aspect of our improvements,” the local government said in a statement.

“However, the online news scoops of GMA and ABS-CBN attached a photo of the seasonal algal bloom in Boracay Island in order to increase the magnitude of their articles and hook people into it, thinking that the waters of Boracay Island are entirely full of algae,” it furthered.

“These news institutions gain profit from their news that ultimately degrades the image of Boracay Island, which is highly dependent on the tourism industry… The media is sensationalizing the algae phenomenon which ultimately hurts the industry of Boracay,” it added.