Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy Cimatu yesterday vowed the rehabilitation of the world-famous Boracay island resort will continue even if it has reopened after six months of closure.
Cimatu said the DENR will continue to monitor the quality of Boracay water to ensure that it is clean and safe for swimming.
Cimatu added that they will also monitor other activities in the island that can affect the quality of the water.
He noted that the DENR-Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) has already put up a “state-of-the-art monitoring system” to record the water quality of those within the vicinity of the island.
He stressed that the island will not become a “cesspool” anymore since commercial establishments in the island have already committed to help the government in implementing environmental laws and regulations.
Cimatu said aside from monitoring the water quality of Boracay, they will also continue to monitor the establishments’ compliance on the conditions cited on the enviromental compliance certificates (ECCs) issued to them.
The DENR and other agencies including the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF), on the other hand, are now processing the ECC applications of those non-compliant commercial establishments.
“Tuluy-tuloy ang pagtanggap ng gobyerno ng application for compliance mula sa mga establishment,” Cimatu said.
One of the requirements that the establishments must comply when applying ECC is to put up sewage treatment plants (STPs) to ensure the water being thrown into the sea is clean.
Before the task force open the island to tourists last Oct. 26, the EMB has reported that of the 1,258 establishments in the island, 717 were already issued ECCs
The issuance of ECC will allow an establishment to be assessed by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) before it will be given an accreditation by the Department of Tourism (DoT).
Since its reopening, there were at least 517 hotels and similar establishments allowed to accept visitors and tourists.