Boracay no longer a cesspool – Cimatu

MANILA, Philippines– After just over two months of rehabilitation, Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu said Boracay is no longer a cesspool.

Cimatu said the government is "on target" in decongesting the island and water quality has significantly improved.

"Mas mababa na [ang bacteria level ng tubig].... Kasi noon medyo tumataas [o] bumababa [ang bacteria level], ngayon medyo steady na. And I can claim now na the pipes na pumupunta doon na hindi [dapat], wala na iyon," Cimatu said on the sidelines of the 31st anniversary celebration of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

(The bacteria level in the water is now lower. The bacteria level used to fluctuate, but now it's steady. And I can claim now that the pipes which are not supposed to be there are no longer there.)

The Environmental Management Bureau in Western Visayas had reported before rehabilitation that coliform bacteria levels in some areas reached as high as over 47,000 most probable number (mpn) per 100 milliliters (ml). The safe level is just 1,000 mpn per 100 ml.

Cimatu also said they can reopen the island by October 26. (READ: The glaring double standard in Duterte's Boracay shutdown)

Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.