PALAWAN, Philippines – The chiefs of national government agencies that led the Boracay cleanup are set to chart the direction of the rehabilitation plan for El Nido town on Wednesday, November 28.
Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, and Interior Secretary Eduardo Año will be in El Nido to discuss with local officials the lineup of activities under the national government’s clean up drive and rehabilitation of the top tourist destination.
The meeting will take place nearly two weeks after the 3 department chiefs met with El Nido officials in Manila, and unanimously agreed to rehabilitate the town without a temporary closure, unlike what the government had done in Boracay.
While in El Nido, the Cabinet officials will go to priority areas and assess them firsthand. Local environment authorities will also provide them with updates on the ongoing cleanup efforts in town.
In February, the regional environment department formed Task Force El Nido to address the town’s problems with the encroachment of easement zones and timberland areas; degradation of water quality in Bacuit Bay; and improper disposal of solid and liquid wastes, among other issues. (READ: El Nido crackdown on erring establishments begins)
Since then, the task force had issued 407 eviction notices to structures built on declared easement zones and forestlands, and also served violation notices to 253 establishments found non-compliant with laws regulating wastewater discharge.
Erring establishment owners had been given time to comply through technical conferences facilitated by the regional Environmental Management Bureau. – Rappler.com