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Boracay is officially closed for 6-month rehab

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, April 26th, 2018

People are seen waiting in line for the opening of Caticlan Port to enter Boracay at 6am Thursday. This after the island was officially closed midnight of April 25 for the 6-month rehabilitation plan of the government. — UNTV News & Rescue

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Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge rehab to resume on January 12

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, January 4th, 2019

Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge

MANILA, Philippines — Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will restart the closure of Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge on January 12 for its rehabilitation.

The bridge connects Makati and Barangka Drive in Mandaluyong.

The said bridge was previously closed for the rehabilitation.

However, it was made accessible to the motorists for two days to ease the holiday traffic.

DPWH is set to expand the two-lane way of the bridge into four.

The rehabilitation works is expected to end in 2021, so motorists are advised to take alternative routes.  — UNTV News & Rescue

 

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MRT-3 rehab to begin this month

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, January 4th, 2019

FILE PHOTO: Metro Rail Transit Line-3

MANILA, Philippines — Rehabilitation for Metro Rail Transit Line-3 is set to begin this month.

Included in the rehabilitation works are the overhauling of 72 light rail vehicles and repairs of rail track, power supply, signalling system, public address system and the stations’ CCTV.

Broken elevators and escalators are also set for restoration.

MRT management has ensured that the daily operations of 15 MRT trains will not be affected by the rehabilitation.

Suspension of train operations will be set on holidays if needed.

The rehabilitation will last for three years. — UNTV News & Rescue

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REPASO 2018: The Boracay story: Years of ‘cesspool’ to a paradise in months

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, December 31st, 2018

 

President Rodrigo Duterte on April 26, 2018 ordered a six-month closure of Boracay Island after reports of overpopulation, pollution and corruption turned the country’s top tourist destination into a ‘cesspool’.

“I will close Boracay. Boracay is a cesspool. It is destroying the environment of the Republic of the Philippines and creating a disaster,” the President said.

Environment investigators discovered poor sewage system with pipelines discharging wastewater directly to the sea.

What happened next to Boracay was a total overhaul – establishments within the 20-meter easement zone were demolished; drainages were replaced and repaired; roads were constructed and widened.

Thousands of workers and residents temporarily lost their sources of income as commercial establishments were barred from operating.

The government, meanwhile, provided alternative jobs for residents under the cash for work program.

While rehabilitation was ongoing, it was discovered that a portion of a mountain in the island was flattened to give way for the construction of a casino resort

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) launched an investigation.

But the local government maintained there was never been a plan to construct a casino in the island.

Early this year, Boracay made world headlines as President Rodrigo Duterte ordered its shutdown after declaring it a “cesspool” for years of mismanagement, over tourism, abuse, massive pollution and corruption.

“I will close Boracay. Boracay is a cesspool. It is destroying the environment of the Republic of the Philippines and creating a disaster,” the President said.

Government investigators found that most commercial structures had been operating without permits and violating environmental laws among others.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) deep penetrating radar revealed that 43 sites in the entire white beach area of Boracay Island were planted with illegal sewers.

More than 2,000 businesses and homes were illegally connected to the island’s sewage system, all pumping their waste water directly into the sea.

Pollution level at the beach was unprecedented as coliform contamination in Boracay waters already exceeded environmental standards for recreational water.

Seventeen (17) local officials of Aklan province were charged with graft, conduct unbecoming of public officials, gross neglect of duty, grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the services over irregularities in managing Boracay Island.

An inter-agency task force was created to manage the six-month rehabilitation works in the island starting off with the construction of a new sewerage and drainage system, communication lines and the main road.

After six months of closure and with environment laws and building codes now being enforced, only 68 hotels and resort lodgings are noted compliant, ready to accept bookings.

After days of dry run, the paradise Island of the Philippines is set to officially reopen its gates to tourists but…under stricter compliance guidelines.

Tourist arrivals have been limited to 6,400 each day.

The ‘no booking, no entry’ policy is strictly being imposed.

No smoking and drinking is allowed at the beach front.

No party events by the beach.

No loitering.

The Boracay Inter-agency Task Force hopes the improvements in Boracay will become a template for other rehabilitation works in various tourist spots in the country.

Today, rehabilitation works are still ongoing in Boracay.

The government aims at completing the rehabilitation in 2020. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from JL Asayo)

 

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