Demolition warning issued against non-compliant Boracay establishments

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 1, 2019   •   3018

Boracay Island

The Boracay Interagency Task Force has given 10 non-compliant establishments a 15-day ultimatum, beginning March 1, to remove their structures after failing to follow the easement rule in Boracay even after the 10-month rehabilitation effort.

During a press conference on Thursday, Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu said this warning will send a “strong message to everyone, who are still violating  the easement, that we really mean business.”

A 30-meter no-build zone along the beachfront was implemented in Boracay since the start of its rehabilitation in April.

Año warned that the non-compliant establishments should opt for self-demolition, otherwise the Task Force will take on the responsibility of removing these establishments.

“We will issue the final ultimatum and then we’ll give them 15 days, then we will forcibly demolish all these establishments if they do not do self-demolition.” Año added. —Aileen Cerrudo

Palace on Boracay pooping incident: follow rules or face charges

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 15, 2019

Boracay

Malacañang on Thursday (Aug 15) reminded tourists — both locals and foreign nationals — to follow rules implemented in the Philippines.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo expressed disappointment over the incident in Boracay where a foreign tourist allowed her son to poop in the shoreline then buried the dirty diaper in the sand.

READ: Portion of Boracay island closed after pooping incident

“It’s a violation. Of course, we are not happy about that. That is not good because we are supposed to be cleaning it then some people are messing it up, right? That’s not good,” Panelo said.

He added that violators will face charges if they do not follow the rules.

“Well, there are rules and regulations in that place. So everyone is expected to—whether foreigner or Filipino tourists alike, they have to follow rules and that obviously is a violation so they would be subject to suits,” he added.

Panelo also suggested placing portable restrooms to help the tourists.—AAC

Gov’t extends rehabilitation works in El Nido

Marje Pelayo   •   August 2, 2019

El Nido Lagoon in Palawan

MANILA, Philippines – Top tourist destination El Nido in Palawan will not be closed to tourists despite decision to extend rehabilitation works in the island.

The rehabilitation program is managed by an interagency task force composed of the Departments of Environment and Natural Resources, the Interior and Local Government and Tourism.

On August 4 a 20-day inspection and investigation will commence to determine the owners and which establishments are non-compliant to the environmental law and hold no necessary permits.

Those who fail government auditing will be ordered closed.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año noted however, that it would be impossible to demolish all structures established within the 20-meter easement zone.

“What we want to promote are the islands of El Nido,” Año said.

“Doon dapat pumunta ang mga tourist doon sa sentro (Tourists should be led to the city center). It’s more on commercial ang lodging, accommodation for the tourist,” he added.

Meanwhile, several areas in Bacuit Bay were declared ‘no swimming zone’ due to contaminated water and because the structures there were already by the beach.

These areas are the Corong-Corong Outfall, El Nido Estero Outfall, Masagana Outfall anf Cabugao Outfall.

“Ang Corong-Corong Outfall, ang fecal coliform is now at 99,315. Ang normal is 100, (Corong-Corong Outfall’s fecal coliform (level) is now at 99,315. The normal level is (only) 100,)” noted Tourism Secretary Bernadet Romolu-Puyat.

“Maiintindihan naman nila siguro kung bakit bawal mag swimming, (They would understand why swimming is banned),” she added.

Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu stressed that this effort of the government is a way to protect the area and so as not to worsen pollution problems in the island such as what happened in Boracay.

“We will continue to stop this because we cannot allow na mag-deteriorate ang El Nido (to deteriorate) into another Boracay,” Cimatu said.

According to DOT, there are about 200,000 tourists that visit El Nido every year. – with reports from Rey Pelayo

MRT-3 management estimates rehabilitation will take two years

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 12, 2019

The rehabilitation of the MRT-3 will still have to take two years.

The management of the Metro Rail Transit-3 said the new train rails have already arrived in the country.

Once all the rail parts arrive in October, rail replacement will begin by November.

MRT Engineer-V Engr. Oscar Bongon said they are considering suspending train operations during weekends to expedite the rehabilitation.

“Kapag nag-decide po iyong management na mapabilis pwede po tayong mag add ng additional day or i-extend iyong oras para mas mabilis po nating matapos iyong rail replacement (Once the management decides to speed up the rail replacement, we can add an additional day or extend hours),” he said.

Once the rehabilitation is finished, 20 trains will become operational from the 13 to 15 trains currently operating.

The train speed will also improve, from 30 kilometers per hour (kph) to 60 kph, reducing the travel time from one hour to 30 minutes.

Headway will also be reduced to three minutes compared to the previous 7 seven minutes.—AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

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