MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has “approved in principle” an executive order (EO) that would help address the problems besetting Boracay Island, said Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu on Tuesday, February 6.
“Last night, the secretary of tourism recommended an executive order to the President for the formation of a task force to [address] the problems of Boracay, especially the environmental compliance of resorts,” Cimatu said, referring to Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo.
Cimatu said the EO was “already approved in principle” by the President during the Cabinet meeting on Monday, February 5.
Under the EO, the environment secretary will chair the task force comprised of other concerned government agencies.
“Therefore, I was given by the President the marching order to do something about the environmental problems in Boracay and make a report after 6 months,” Cimatu said.
He added that they have already started conducting an inventory of the environmental violations in Boracay, and a group is already going from one establishment to another to look into their environmental compliance.
“Sa DENR, ang pumasok sa amin, ‘yung how to address ‘yung garbage problem, how to address water pollution, mga violations ng mga buildings, mga problema sa lands, kasi may mga establishments na nasa forestlands na. ‘Yun challenge ng DENR,” Environment Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonas Leones said on Tuesday.
(As for the DENR, we’re in charge of how to address the garbage problem, how to address water pollution, the violations of the buildings, and land problems, because some of the establishments are already on forestlands. That’s the challenge of the DENR.)
Leones said it’s really time to resolve the problems in Boracay or else “it will continue to deteriorate.”