DENR to Take over Boracay Island; Environmental Program to Address Deteriorating Conditions

Article excerpt

KALIBO, Aklan -- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will take over Boracay Island, which will undergo massive environmental rehabilitation to address deteriorating conditions.

In a dialogue with the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP), DENR Regional Executive Director Lormelyn Claudio said there had been many environment-related violations in the island.

She said the only remedy is for the department to take over and rehabilitate the world-famous resort island.

"We still respect the authorities of the Department of Tourism, the Philippine Tourism Authority and the local government unit. We also hope they will respect us in terms of environmental policies," Claudio said.

DENR conducted an investigation of Boracay's environment after the reported flooding of key areas in the resort island last December.

Tourists also complained of stinking odors in several areas of the island.

During the dialogue, Claudio presented the DENR's proposed Boracay Master Plan to the SP that incorporates the technical, organizational, and institutional aspects of environmental protection and rational developments for this resort island.

"With the completion of the Boracay Master Plan, we will now proceed (with) the creation of a Comprehensive Land Use and Development Plan which will be adopted by the Regional Development Council and the National Economic Development Authority," Claudio said.

Although she did not disclose the time frame for DENR's takeover, she said that this may take some time because the resort island is a popular tourist destination and thus cannot be just shut down. …