Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy Cimatu answers questions during an inspection in Boracay Island.
A video posted by an anonymous Boracay resident has gone viral for supposedly capturing an ongoing excavation that resulted in the flattening and deforestation of a mountain in Barangay Yapak.
This led residents to question the rehabilitation efforts of the government while some turned to social media to seek explanation for the leveling activities.
Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu issued a statement on Wednesday, May 16, to clarify speculations.
READ: The Press Statement of Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy A. Cimatu on the alleged flattening of a mountain in Boracay
“Facebook posts by netizens regarding the alleged flattening of a mountain near the eco-village multi-purpose gym in Boracay have reached my office.
“Like everyone else, we are also deeply bothered by such acts of total disregard of the government’s effort to rehabilitate Boracay.
“Reports from our field office indicated, however, that said flattening of mountain was conducted prior to the Boracay closure and has since been stopped.
“To be clear to all that we mean business in the enforcement of environmental laws, rules and regulations, I have ordered, with the concurrrence of the Boracay inter-agency task force, a total stoppage of all constructions of any kind effective immediately.
“I have also ordered a moratorium on the issuance of DENR permits, including but not limited to Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC), tree cutting permit, except those relating to on-going road widening project by DPWH, and other licenses.
“Certainly, we welcome feedback from the public. Your opinion and suggestions do matter to us.
“We are appealing to each and every one, however, that when you make any report or post anything online, these should be verified first so as not to cause any misunderstanding.”