Cimatu backs proposed Boracay env’t fee hike

Tourists take photos of the famous Boracay sunset. The island is still undergoing rehabilitation despite its half-year closure in 2018. GMA

BORACAY – Environment secretary Roy Cimatu said he is in favor of increasing the P75 environmental fee in this famed island resort.

The fee collected from tourists visiting Boracay will be used for the island’s waste management program, he added.

In a press briefing of the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force yesterday, Cimatu said he will support the propose fee increase “if it will accrue to the improvement of the situation or condition of Boracay.”

He added that increasing the environmental fee will make the waste management program in the island sustainable.

The fee increase could also help the improvement of Boracay’s sanitary landfill, said Cimatu.

Meanwhile, a “Love Boracay Sustainability Week” is being proposed to commemorate the island resort’s rehabilitation next month.

President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the Boracay closed for six months beginning April 26 last year to pave the way for a much-needed island rehabilitation.

The President branded the island waters a “cesspool,” noting the serious sewage problem that led to Boracay’s ecological degredation.

The half-year closure has displaced thousands of workers and affected residents and businesses.

The island was opened to tourists in October last year. Its rehabilitation is still ongoing./PN


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