Duterte extends Boracay task force term until 2021

Pia Ranada
Duterte extends Boracay task force term until 2021
The task force has another year to demolish illegal structures and improve drainage systems in the world-famous island

MANILA, Philippines – Citing unmet targets for the rehabilitation of Boracay, President Rodrigo Duterte extended the term of the task force in charge of the effort for another year or until May 2021.

Executive Order No. 115, posted on the Official Gazette, amends EO No. 53 which limited the Boracay Inter-agency Task Force’s term to until May 8, 2020.

The new Duterte order says the term will now end on May 8, 2021.

Failure to meet targets. The EO justified the extension by saying the task force needed more time to accomplish its goals.

Based on a validation by task force members last March 31, 33% of establishments in the island failed to comply with the order to stay out of the 25-meter beach easement.

Some 27% of establishments still violate the rules on road easement.

Meanwhile, 723 structures remain standing in forestland, 112 on beach easements, and 334 on road easements.

The order also cited the “need to complete critical projects” in Boracay, including water drainage system improvement, rehabilitation of its circumferential road, and demolition of illegal structures.

The task force, chaired by Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu and co-chaired by Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, was given orders to revoke permits of establishments violating environmental regulations and craft plans to ensure the island’s recuperation from pollution due to unrestrained tourism.

It also implemented the 6-month closure of Boracay which cost the country millions in tourism revenue but helped clean up its famous white-sand beaches for a time. – Rappler.com

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.