Littering in Boracay? You may face imprisonment
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said the anti-littering ordinance in Boracay Island will be strictly enforced.
When the famous island partially reopened for a dry run on Monday, October 15, many netizens were enraged by the trash found along the beach front brought by visitors.
In a text message to Rappler, Interior Undersecretary Epimaco Densing said that the incident was "very frustrating," especially since the island was closed for 6 months due to its environmental problems.
"Very frustrating. We are reiterating our call for discipline from our tourists," Densing said. (WATCH: How green can Boracay get?)
He added that the existing ordinance will be reviewed for a stricter implementation.
Under Municipal Ordinance Number 311, series of 2012, the Malay local government prohibits the following acts:
- littering in public spaces, waterways, and recreational areas.
- Urinating, spiting, defacating in public spaces, waterways, and recreational areas.
- Vandalizing the walls or surfaces of public places, or private properties upon complaint of the owner
- Dumping of trash along roads that may impeded flow of pedestrian traffic
Violators may face a fine or imprisonment:
- First offense: fine of P1,000, or imprisonment of not less than 10 days nor more than 30 days, or both, at the discretion of the court
- Second offense: fine of P1,500, or imprisonment of not less than 20 days nor more than 30 days, or both, at the discretion of the court
- Third offense: fine of P2,500, or imprisonment of not less than one month nor more than 6 months, or both, at the discretion of the court
Establishments that do not observe cleanliness or proper waste storage may have their business permit revoked or accreditation canceled by the Mayor.
In a letter to the environment department, the Compliant Association of Boracay even sought to police the White Beach and the main roads to catch litterers.
"We would like to do our share in keeping Boracay free of debris and litter. In line with this, we ask your good office to deputize the CAB members' select staff and/or pollution officers to police the public areas."
Duterte announced his intention to "close" Boracay last February 10, angered by environmental violations by commercial establishments that he thinks turned the popular tourist destination into a "cesspool." (IN CHARTS: Boracay is bursting at the seams)
Two months since Boracay was closed, Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu said Boracay "is no longer a cesspool." He also said on Monday that Boracay waters are now "safe for swimming." – Rappler.com