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SC urged to issue TRO on Boracay closure

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, April 26th, 2018

Boracay, a resort island in Western Visayas

MANILA, Philippines — Two island workers filed before the Supreme Court Wednesday a petition seeking to stop the impending closure of Boracay Island on April 26.

Represented by the National Union of People’s Lawyers, the workers filed a petition for prohibition and mandamus against President Rodrigo Duterte, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and DILG Secretary Eduardo Año.

“We are requesting the status quo ante order in order to restore the condition prior to the closure,” NUPL-Panay’s legal counsel Atty Angelo Karlo Guillen said.

The petitioners argued that tourists will be deprived of their rights to travel as well as the residents of their rights to enter Boracay. They also claim that prohibition to enter the island may only be applied on the condition of threat to national security, public safety, and public health. They express particular concern on the welfare of workers in the island who will be losing their jobs once the closure pushes through.

“It violates the right to due process of all those persons who are earning a living in Boracay island,” Guillen said.

NUPL requested the anonymity of the petitioners for security reasons. They are confident that the Highest Court will take their side on the issue.

“Absolutely No Merit”

Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Malacañang sees the petition as “absolutely no merit for any private party to restrain the closure of Boracay” noting that “SC itself has previously ruled that Boracay is owned primarily by the state.”

The Palace official stressed that “the closure is because of the inherent police power of the state to protect the environment in Boracay.”

Roque concluded that “Unless a TRO is issued, the planned closure of Boracay to tourists shall proceed.” — Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue

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Boracay rebuilds drainage system with latest technology

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, August 2nd, 2018

High density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic pipes line the beach of Boracay ready to be installed.

 

BORACAY, Philippines — The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is using German technology in building the new drainage system of Boracay Island.

Six-meter long high density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic pipes with a width of 1.2 meters will replace one-meter long reinforced concrete pipes that the DPWH traditionally use.

“Ang lifespan niya hundred years… In terms of sa size, doble po ang laki ng pipes na gagamitin namin sa project,” DPWH Secretary Mark Villar said.

(It has a lifespan of 1oo years. The pipes that we are going to use for the project are twice the size of what was originally used.)

 

High density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic pipes will replace the reinforced concrete pipes that were originally used in Boracay’s drainage system.

 

DPWH is planning to use 800 HDPE pipes for phase 1 of the project. Boracay is among the first to be installed with the said German technology.

Villar is confident that the storm drains they are building will be able to solve the flooding problems on the island especially during rainy season.

“Mabilis po ang installation at siyempre yung quality. Napakahalaga na itong.. yung quality ng pipes ay dapat pangmatagalan,” he said.

(Installation is quick and quality is considered. It is very important that the quality of the pipes is designed for long term use.)

Among the qualities of high density polyethylene is its capacity to contain man-made chemicals and solid waste to prevent leakage and contamination.

“Dati kasi kulang na kulang yung capacity sa drainage sa sewerage kaya ngayon po inanticipate namin yung demand. So ngayon pa lang malaki na para hindi tayo mahihirapan,” Villar explained.

(In the past, the drainage capacity in the sewerage was so insufficient. This time we anticipated the demand and increased the size to avoid future problems.)

The 5-kilometer drainage project has a total cost of P540-million.

The DPWH is targeting to complete installation by October for the reopening of the country’s top destination. — Vincent Arboleda  | UNTV News & Rescue

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DENR to require ‘environment friendly’ vehicles in Boracay

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, June 29th, 2018

An e-trike

 

BORACAY Island, Philippines – Aside from rehabilitating the beaches of Boracay, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) recommends measures to improve the quality of air on the island.

The agency said they will require all vehicles in the island to comply with the specifications stated under the government’s modernization program.

“They must be compliant EURO 4. Meaning they will have a new engine because we would like to make Boracay air pollution compliant,” said DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu.

In line with this, the agency will push through with the phase-out of gas-fueled tricycles in Boracay come September this year.

Malay LGU Executive Assistant Rowen Aguire, it has been years since the local government introduced the use of e-trikes as a replacement for gas-fueled tricycles. It is about time to comply with the directive as stated in the 6-month action plan of the LGU.

“Ma pi-phase out siya kasi ika-cancel mo na talaga yung kanilang mga franchises…pati yung permit niya to transport ire-revoke na rin,” Aguirre warned.

(It [tricycles] will be phased out because their franchises will be cancelled…even their permit to transport will also be revoked.)

Tricyle drivers said they are willing to comply with the requirements of DENR though they have a number of concerns. DENR, for its part, assured that they will give drivers enough time to upgrade their units to become environmental law compliant. — Vincent Arboleda / Marje Pelayo

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17 local execs in Aklan face graft, other charges over Boracay mess

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, June 28th, 2018

Aerial view of Boracay sunset (via UNTV drone)

BORACAY ISLAND, Philippines – Seventeen (17) local officials of Aklan province are now facing multiple charges over irregularities in managing Boracay Island.

DILG Undersecretary Epimacio Densing III filed Thursday (June 28) charges of graft, conduct unbecoming of public officials, gross neglect of duty, grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the services against them.

Among the respondents are Aklan Governor Florencio Miraflores, Mayor Ceciron Cawaling of Malay, Vice Mayor Abram Saulog and members of the Sangguniang Bayan of Malay.

According to Rowen Aguire, executive assistant of Malay, Mayor Cawiling welcomes any investigation into the matter.

“Hihintayin niyang dumating yung complaints then they will look into the allegations and they will answer accordingly kasi ang tingin naman niya ay wala naman siyang kasalanan,” Aguire said.

Sangguniang Bayan member and chair of the local environment committee, Maylynn Graf did not expect her name to be implicated in the case. She argued that she was among the advocates of protecting the environment in Boracay.

“Parang baka kulang pa yung ginagawa ko siguro, kailangan kong dagdagan. private sector ako o taong gobyerno ako yun naman ang rason ba’t nandito siguro ako at yun lang ang palagi kong ipinapaglaban,” Graf said.

UNTV News Team attempted to reach Governor Miraflores via phone call but to no avail.

Other barangay officials, meanwhile, refused to comment on the issue. They said they will wait for the copy of the charges from the Office of the Ombudsman before they answer or comment on the case. – Vincent Arboleda / Marje Pelayo

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