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DILG probes use of collected Boracay environmental fees

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, March 7th, 2018


Boracay Island

MANILA, Philippines — After the Building Code of the Philippines and the Fire Code of the Philippines found out about the environmental law violations of business establishments in Boracay Island, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) is now investigating how environmental fees collected from local and foreign tourists who entered the island were used by the local government of Malay.

Authorities uncovered the 10-year collection made by the Malay LGU from 2008 to 2018.

The Malay government charges tourists who enter Borcacay P75 each.

Based on the figures of the Department of Tourism (DOT), 2-million tourists visited Boracay last year.

The number is higher than the 16 percent recorded in 2016.

The investigation of the DILG revealed that a local ordinance issued by the Malay LGU mandates the environmental fee collected in Boracay be transferred to the province’s general funds.

This means that aside from maintaining the orderliness of the island and protecting its environment, the LGU may use the amount for any program or activity it may conduct or implement.

The DILG may file charges against the officials of the city once they are proven to have committed anomaly in the use of the said environmental fee.

“If there are people who are liable officials local or even national [they] should be identified and cases [should] be filed against them,” said DILG-6 regional director Atty. Anthony Nuyda.

On the other hand, the local government of Malay said that it is open to any investigation regarding its use of the said fund.

“We have not been hiding anything since we have no problem with COA,” Malay LGU executive assistant Rowen Aguirre said. — Marje Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue

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Duterte warns businessmen not to turn Palawan into a cesspool like Boracay

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, November 12th, 2018

PALAWAN, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte warns business owners in Palawan to be mindful of their water waste disposals so as not to turn the island into a cesspool like what happened in Boracay.

So I’m giving notice also to all hotels nag-operate diyan sa dagat. Huwag ninyong itapon ‘yung tubo ninyo diretso. If you want to build a hotel, add another so many million to have a water treatment,” he said during a speech on the opening of Subaraw Festival in Palawan Saturday (November 10).

He advised them nothing more but to “follow rules.”

“So kindly just — isang ano lang ako. Maski ako. Follow rules. Period. Wala… Make the day perfect. Do not look for trouble. Just follow the law,” he added.

He also stressed the need to minimize the influx of tourists into the tourist province to prevent overcrowding.

You know, itong ano ninyo, linisin lang ninyo. Huwag lang ninyo i-overload. Huwag ninyong i-overload. Bantay kayo diyan. Boracay is a classic case of overloading. It can carry only so much people,” he said.

The President cited El Nido as an example where tourist arrival has been growing by 30% per year since 2016.

It can be noted that the President ordered the closure of Boracay Island because of overpopulation, pollution and corruption which brought the island into world headlines for being a “cesspool.”

Though the island reopened late in October, rehabilitation works continue.

A total of 116 establishments were ordered permanent closure due to multiple violations of environmental laws. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Andy Pagayona)

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Duterte awards land ownership to Ati tribe in Boracay

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, November 9th, 2018

President Rodrigo Duterte with Agrarian Secretary John Castriciones personally awarded the first batch of titles as part of the agrarian reform program for the Ati indigenous group in Boracay on November 9

BORACAY ISLAND, Philippines – More than six months since President Rodrigo Duterte ordered land reform in the island of Boracay, the President on Thursday (November 9) personally awarded the first batch of titles as part of the agrarian reform program for the Ati indigenous group in Boracay.

Six certificates of land ownership award (CLOA) equivalent to 3.2 hectares of land have been issued to 45 agrarian reform beneficiaries.

Forty-three (43) of them are members of the Boracay Ati Tribal Organization while one is a local land cultivator in the island.

The specific lands located in Barangay Manocmanoc, Boracay will be collectively owned by the Ati community.

 It was in June this year when the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) initially planned to put 25 hectares of land in Boracay under the first phase of the agrarian reform program.

 But after doing an actual ground validation on the island, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) finally turned over 7.96 hectares of land to DAR to be put under agrarian reform.

 Despite that, only 3.2 of the 7.96 hectares where issued CLOA which was eventually distributed to the Ati by the President.

Seven claimants, however, expressed ownership of the said land.

This worries the Ati beneficiaries, fearing that this will bring them trouble and that the land will, eventually, be taken away from them by the claimants.

Despite that issue, DAR Secretary John Castriciones assures the Ati tribe of their right to the land.

 “Walang dapat sila ikatakot kasi itong mga to, tax declarant lang sila. And as I said, ang tax declaration is not a full proof of ownership. It can (inaudible) Into a claim later on but that’s after 30 years when they can claim for a free patent,” Castriciones said.

The Secretary added that these claimants can longer contest the lands awarded by the government to the beneficiaries.

 “Since it was already turned over to us, it’s no longer free for acquisition,” he explained.

Meanwhile, 439 Aklanon farmers were also given lands in various areas in Aklan.

Beneficiaries were also given garden kits and tools, and will undergo training to maximize the use of the land through agriculture.

The DAR is now looking into 14 hectares of land in Boracay to be given to other target beneficiaries on the island. – Vincent Arboleda

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P43M fine ordered to 209 non-compliant establishments in Boracay

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, October 30th, 2018

BORACAY ISLAND, Philippines – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has ordered 209 establishments to pay P43 million in total for violation of environmental laws.

The DENR’s Pollution Adjudication Board has fined 110 structures for violations of Section 1, Rule 9 of Republic Act 8749 or the Clean Water Act; 72 structures for failure to obtain permit to discharge water pollutants, a violation of Section 27 of the Clean Water Act; while others are sanctioned for other multiple violations.

The amount of fine depends on the length of time the business has been established and the gravity of the offense.

Overall, the DENR has ordered a fine of P43 million to all non-compliant establishments in Boracay Island.

The written warning has already been  sent to each of the establishments for immediate action.

Failure to respond to the payment order will not allow them to operate or process any application for permit.

The DENR is closely monitoring the compliance of business establishments in Boracay to ensure that it will not return to its “cesspool” state again. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Vincent Arboleda)

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