ILOILO City – The rehabilitation works in Boracay might need more than six months, said Environment secretary Roy Cimatu as he revealed problems in the ongoing island cleanup.
Cimatu said he was surprised that there were still 43 illegal pipes unearthed on the island’s beachfront where tourists usually go for a swim.
“I was expecting na wala pong tubo rito (beachfront),” Cimatu said in an interview on Dobol B sa News TV on Friday.
A technical team from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources has conducted a survey along the White Beach using Ground Penetrating Radar machines.
The inspection was made after high levels of coliform bacteria were found in the waters at the beachfront, according to Cimatu.
He said some establishments installed pipes on their own without obtaining the necessary permits.
The unearthed pipes were also proof of violation of the 25-meter-plus-5-meter no-build zone from the shoreline.
Aside from fines amounting to P10,000 to P200,000 daily, criminal and administrative cases also await those found responsible for the installation of illegal pipes, Cimatu said.
While the Environment chief said he is worried that cleanup works in Boracay might need an extension, he clarified that as of the moment the government is still on-track with the rehabilitation.
Cimatu said 100 soldiers will help in removing the illegal pipes and assist the inter-agency task force in meeting the scheduled re-opening of the island.
President Rodrigo Duterte ordered Boracay shut for six months, which began on April 26, to pave the way for its rehabilitation. (With a report from GMA News/PN)