Cimatu orders ‘search and destroy’ illegal sewers in Boracay

Marje Pelayo   •   May 25, 2018   •   4572

 

Members of Philippine Army’s search-and-destroy team line up, carrying shovels for excavation process

 

BORACAY ISLAND, Philippines – Results derived from 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.

This prompted Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu to issue a search-and-destroy order to members of the Philippine Army (PA) to begin excavation and removal of said pipes.

A total of 100 candidate soldiers from PA 3rd Infantry Division will spearhead the excavation process.

Cimatu admitted he was not expecting to discover illegal drainage connections in the white beach but he assured that rehabilitation efforts in the island remain on track.

DENR together with the Boracay Island Water Company, Inc. (BIWC) will also launch an investigation to verify if the 43 discovered pipelines are specifically used as rainwater drainage only.

Meanwhile, Mike Santos, General Manager of BIWC advised establishment owners at the white beach to connect the drainage to their sewer system to prevent seepage or leakage of contaminated water into the sea. – Vincent Arboleda / Marje Pelayo

Boracay hospital closes after doctor tests positive for COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   March 30, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Ciriaco S. Tirol Hospital located on Boracay island is temporarily closed to the public after one of its doctors tested positive for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the Aklan Provincial Health Office said Monday.

Dr. Cornelio Cuachon Jr., chief of Aklan Provincial Health Office, said the hospital had to be closed after a 37-year old doctor working for the facility contracted coronavirus.

Cuachon said the doctor is currently under strict 14-day isolation after he manifested symptoms of the viral disease.

The doctor was said to have manifested symptoms such as cough and sore throat just days after he traveled to Manila to attend a convention from March 4 to 7.

He returned to Boracay on March 8 and worked at the hospital for over a week before he was advised to undergo quarantine.

“Mayroon siyang ubo, saka sore throat and then colds but hindi na siya nagpakonsulta. After nine days, binigyan siya ng advise na talagang mag-strict quarantine kasi nandoon lang siya sa ospital so mataas ang rate ng transmission,” Cuachon said.

The health official added that the doctor is now recovering from the illness.

Cuachon said, more than 10 hospital workers who had close contact with the infected doctor are also undergoing quarantine.

It is not yet clear when the said hospital will reopen. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lalaine Moreno)

Boracay stinks of days-old island waste

Marje Pelayo   •   January 2, 2020

BORACAY ISLAND, Philippines – Garbage is everywhere in Boracay Island after days of heavy rains and winds brought about by Typhoon Ursula.

A source sent UNTV images showing piles of garbage along the sidewalks believed to be from households and commercial establishments within the island.

The source said that piles of trash have been there for more than eight days already and that no help from the local government has come to transfer the garbage even domestic wastes out of the island.

Power lines are still cut except for the main roads which causes heavier burden to residents because the price of fuel particularly diesel has soared to P57/L – P67/L.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) explained that the typhoon not only affected the garbage collectors but it also damaged their equipment.

“Ang tunay pong sitwasyon ay biktima po ang mga kasama natin diyan na maglilinis nung Boracay, (The real situation there is, even our men who are supposed to collect and clear the garbage were also victims or affected by the typhoon,)” noted Environment Undersecretary Benny Antiporda.

What’s worse, the official said, is that residents lack discipline.

They keep on piling garbage even right after the previous batch has been collected.

The Department, nevertheless, promised to send additional personnel and dump trucks to collect the garbage and clear the island.

Antiporda also confirmed allowing exemptions to permit the delivery of petroleum products into the island. – MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)

Senator wants strict implementation of tourist limit in Boracay

Robie de Guzman   •   October 22, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Nancy Binay has called on the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF) to strictly implement the carrying capacity of the island ahead of the expected influx of tourists in the coming months.

In a statement, Binay said the BIATF should provide an update on the status of the frameworks it set in monitoring the number of tourists visiting Boracay, as well as their evaluation and recommendations on the tourist limit policy it implemented.

The senator noted that the government imposed a limit of 6,405 daily tourist entries when Boracay reopened after its six-month rehabilitation last year.

She also stressed that only 19,000 tourists will be allowed in Boracay at any given day, and workers on the island must not exceed 15,000 per day to be able to maintain the 55,000 carrying capacity of the island.

“Dapat po ay natuto na tayo sa naging mga pagkakamali – sa ‘di pagpapatupad ng batas, sa pagbabalewala sa kalikasan, at sa unli-turista sa isla,” Binay said.

The lawmaker also urged the inter-agency council to make sure that establishments in Boracay are complying with environmental laws.

“Sana ‘di ito ningas-cogon lamang dahil sayang lang ang ating magandang nasimulan para sa isla, at itaas po natin ang pamantayan na ating inilagay para mapangalagaan ang isla,” Binay added.

One major component of the Boracay rehabilitation is the implementation of the “25+5-meter” easement along the beach.

This means no structures are allowed to be put up within the 30-m area along the beach.

Structures that encroached on the easement along the white beach at the western side of the island have been removed by the owners or demolished by BIATF.

Binay also suggested that authorities consider training personnel that would brief tourists on the “dos and don’ts” on the island.

“Maliit lang na bagay ito, but I think it would go a long way in making sure tourists are aware of the things that are allowed or prohibited,” the senator said.

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