Residents carry a sack of garbage collected from the shores of Boracay, in this July 2018 photo. The island is now more than three months into its half-year rehabilitation, but Interior department acting head Eduardo Año said some establishments still discharge waste into its seawaters. DENR

BORACAY – Some establishments in this island resort still illegally discharge waste into the sea, according to Interior department officer-in-charge Eduardo Año.

Año said there are “indicators” that wastes are still being dumped in the island waters at night.

Ang tagal nang sarado ng Boracay, bakit meron pa rin? Kasi hino-hoard nila ang waste… Binubuga nila yan sa gabi unti-unti,” Año said last Friday.

Lack of a proper sewage system, illegal structures and abuse of the environment forced President Rodrigo Duterte to order the shutdown of the popular tourist destination known for its powdery white beaches on April 26, calling the waters around the island a “cesspool.”

Environment secretary Roy Cimatu on Aug. 9 said the sewage system in Boracay will be completed by September.

Cimatu stressed that the government is bent on meeting its deadline for reopening the island come Oct. 26.

Año said those who continue to pollute Boracay’s waters refuse to pay for sewerage system services.

He added there could still be illegal pipes buried deep in the island where wastes still pass through.

The government has hired divers to track the source of the wastes from the sea to the establishment, Año said.

Año – a member of the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force being the DILG acting head – said they are optimistic that newly-appointed Ombudsman Samuel Martires would grant their request for a preventive suspension against local officials who allowed illegal structures in the island.

Local officials of Malay, Aklan – the town that has jurisdiction over Boracay – are facing charges for alleged neglect of duty before the Office of the Ombudsman. (With CNN Philippines/PN)

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