February 14, 2018
[caption id="attachment_136444" align="aligncenter" width="1030"] months if environmental problems in the island remain unsolved – that is if President Rodrigo Duterte stays true to his words. AKLAN FORUM JOURNAL[/caption]
BORACAY – A business group in this popular island destination welcomed the deadline that President Rodrigo Duterte issued to Environment secretary Roy Cimatu.
The President on Feb. 9 tasked Cimatu to fix the environmental problems in the island resort within six months.
If not, Duterte threatened to close the island.
Sangguniang Bayan (SB) member Maylynn Aguirre-Graf, president of the Boracay Foundation, Inc. (BFI), said the deadline is directed to all government agencies concerned in Boracay’s environmental restoration.
“Matagalna naming hinihintaynatumutokang national government samgaproblemasaBoracay. Angmga violators na establishments dapat i-close ang operations,” Aguirre-Graf said.
In its statement released on Monday, the BFI stressed, “[I]t is unjust to close Boracay Island at the expense of compliant establishments…to close the island would be an easy way out and too much to bear for residents who depend on island’s tourism for livelihood.”
The BFI believes that since Malacañang is now “keen on fixing Boracay, agencies will be pressured to urgently fix the problems.”
In July last year, Mayor CecironCawaling issued a local executive order creating Task Force Bulabog, which is tasked to monitor substandard drainages in the island.
“Nag-umpisaitoeight years agodahilhindiinayosngTIEZA(Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority)angsubstandard at putol-putolnadrainage systems,” according to Aguirre-Graf. “May mga restaurants at hotels nagviolateat nakaconnectsa drainage.Naghihintay pa rin kami sa budget ngDENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources), lalonasa main road area, paramamonitoritongmga establishments.”
The BFI urged all its members to strictly comply with the policies in the island.
An “open line of communication” was also encouraged among the members.
Aguirre-Graf said they are willing to cooperate with the DENR to solve Boracay’s problems.
“We trust the leadership of DENR and Secretary Roy Cimatu to address the issues.We have to set aside our personal interests and agenda paramaibangonangimahengisla. Dapatsinseroang DENR namaimplementangmga environmental laws,” she added. (Aklan Forum Journal/PN)