Cimatu orders ‘search and destroy’ illegal sewers in Boracay
Marje Pelayo • May 25, 2018 • 4252
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
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has lifted the swimming ban on Section 1 of Boracay Island after being closed for some time due to a defecation incident involving foreign tourists.
The Department declared on Thursday (August 15) that water quality at the incident site is already safe from coliform content.
Based on the result of the water quality test conducted on Wednesday (August 14), the coliform content in the area is now at 1 most probable number (MPN) per 100 milliliters (ml).
This is way below the normal level of at least 100 MPN / 100ml of water which is the standard to consider that the water is safe for swimming.
Thus, Secretary Cimatu ordered to remove the cordon and signage of the swimming ban that were installed 100 meters along the beach front of Section 1.
Meanwhile, Malacañang condemns the actions of the Chinese tourists and according to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, they should be held liable for violating environmental laws in the island.
“It’s a violation. We are not happy about that,” Panelo said.
“We’re supposed to be cleaning it up. Pagkatapos (Then) some people are messing It up. Hindi maganda. (That’s unfavorable) Whether filipino yun, o tourist, it’s offensive to the sight. It’s not a good scene,” he added.
Panelo calls on foreign tourists to abide by the law whenever they are in the country.
Meanwhile, the Boracay management was quick to provide portable restrooms for tourists following the incident.
Boracay authorities are planning to review local ordinances to make sure they still fit to the current situation in the tourist island. – MNP (with details from Vincent Arboleda)
MANILA, Philippines – Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu on Wednesday (August 14) ordered the temporary closure of Section 1 in Boracay Island following an incident where a foreign tourist allowed her child to poop in its shoreline.
A video of the tourist went viral on social media which also showed another woman burying a used diaper into the sand, according to the narration in the recording.
Cimatu, who heads the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF), ordered a 2 to 3-day closure of a portion of the beach where the defecation incident happened to allow clean-up operation.
The closed portion was cordoned off and placed with markers that say: “Temporarily closed for swimming. (Clean up ongoing.)”
Within the 48 to 72-hour rehabilitation period, water samples from the affected area will be observed and checked until the tests reveal that water quality is restored to safe level.
According to BIATF General Manager Naty Bernardino, the closure order covers the 100 meter beachfront of Station 1 where the incident happened.
“Mayroong nakabantay doon na (The area is guarded by a) PNP personnel to really enforce the no swimming policy temporary,” Bernardino said.
Meanwhile, the official said they are planning to review all existing municipal ordinances to determine if they remain relevant to the current situation in the tourist island.
“There’s a need to, you know, palakasin pa iyong penalties niya (strengthen the penalities). (Strengthen the) penalty system para talaga ma-prevent, ma-deter ang mga (to prevent, to deter the) violators from doing various violations,” Bernardino said.
Based on the current municipal ordinance of Malay, Aklan, illegal waste disposal in public places in Boracay such as the beach area is punishable with P2,500 fine which, according to Bernardino, is definitely a small amount. – MNP (with details from Vincent Arboleda)
SINGAPORE – A pair of Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) received a warm welcome from staff at Jurong Bird Park, their home for the next 10 years.
On May 20 this year, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) signed a loan agreement with the Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) in a move to save the species from extinction.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) this year included the Philippine Eagle in its endangered list of wildlife as there are some 180 to 500 mature eagles remaining in the country.
The eagle pair, named “Geothermica” and “Sambisig”, are recognized as ambassadors for Philippine biodiversity, according to Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu.
“Geothermica” and “Sambisig now join the close to 3,500 birds being taken cared of at Jurong Bird Park, the largest bird park in Asia.
The sanctuary houses around 400 bird species, of which 20 percent is threatened.
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