SRAC Boracay inspection-web

Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said that there could be cease and desist orders and other actions issued to erring businesses in Boracay very soon.

“We are fast tracking our processes, and we’ll probably see sanctions handed out before the end of March to businesses that fail to roll out remedial measures to their notices of violation (NOVs),” Cimatu said.

The secretary is currently in Boracay overseeing the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) mission team aiming to restore and rehabilitate the island, which is facing issues of overcrowding, inadequate sewerage and solid waste management facilities, and forestland and wetlands encroachment.

As of February 24, the DENR said that it has issued 181 NOVs to 161 establishments found violating environmental laws and have already surveyed 562 establishments. Some of these establishments, which included resorts, hotels, spas and restaurants, were already repeat offenders.

Of the 181 NOVs issued, 92 were for violations of the Clean Water Act (expired discharge permits/no discharge permit), 78 were for violations of the Clean Air Act (no permit to operate), 4 were for violations of both the Clean Water and Clean Air acts, and 7 were for violations of the Philippine Environmental Impact Statement System (no environmental compliance certificate).

The DENR’s mission team is looking for violations of environmental laws, such as failure to connect to the island’s sewage system, wastewater with excessive effluents, failure to secure or update their environmental compliance certificates (ECCs), and illegal constructions in forestlands and wetlands, among others.

Cimatu ensured that they will follow due process throughout their operations.

“Even if we are fast tracking our investigation processes, we will still follow the rules and will call those with NOVs to a technical conference, where they will need to present their remedial measures,” he said.

The businesses will then be given ample time to implement the remedial measures they have agreed upon.

“If they fail to comply after that time, they could face closure, fines, or a cease and desist order, once we elevate their case to the Pollution Adjudication Board,” the secretary added.

Cimatu clarified that the DENR is not against business, but is rather looking after the interests of the environment and the real residents of Boracay.

“To be fair, there are businesses that have successfully complied and rectified their violations. The point here is they have to comply with environmental laws. If they can’t comply, they have no business having business there,” he said.

The secretary said the DENR is bent on completing on time President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s directive to clean up and rejuvenate Boracay in six months.

Keeping businesses and residents in line with environmental laws is just one of the DENR’s measures in this regard. Aside from this, the department is calling for a moratorium on tourist arrivals, reclamation of wetlands and forestlands in the island, and the completion of solid waste disposal and sewerage infrastructure, among others.

“We are committed to restoring and rehabilitating Boracay, and these are some of the things we can do now to give Boracay a chance to thrive and flourish as paradise again for us and for future generations,” Cimatu said. #####

 

DENR press releases and other news/feature articles are posted at the DENR website: www.denr.gov.ph. For queries/comments, write: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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DENR 8 Regional Director Atty. Crizaldy Barcelo accepts the Chairmanship of Eastern Visayas’ Regional Ecotourism Committee (REC) for a three-year term from the Department of Tourism represented by its Officer-In-Charge, Ma. Trinidad Dacuycuy.

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Some of the retired key officials and employees of DENR pose for a picture with DENR Regional Director, Atty. Crizaldy Barcelo.

DENR 8 Regional Director Crizaldy M. Barcelo (L) presents Certificates of Recognition to partners in law enforcement for their invaluable support and contributions to environmental law enforcement operations in Eastern Visayas.

Ms. Melba Ariño (center), Land Management Officer of DENR CENRO Pambujan receives award for extending invaluable assistance to the programs of 8ID PA from DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu and Maj. Gen. Raul Farnacio, Commander, 8ID.

Tacloban City communities join this year’s #InternationalCoastalCleanUp activities. DENR Region 8, together with other government agencies and private institutions joined hands in cleaning up the coastal areas and waterways within the city.

DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu recently visited the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office of Samar in Catbalogan City. During his interface with DENR employees in Samar province, Secretary Cimatu laid his plans to help reduce poverty. Among these are increasing livelihood opportunities through the Enhanced National Greening Program (E-NGP), reinventing mining to ensure that the country’s mineral resources will benefit the people without compromising the environment, and promoting cacao commodity to augment the livelihood of NGP PO beneficiaries in Samar.

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