Accreditation halt expected to compel Boracay resorts to act: DOT

MANILA With the Department of Tourism's (DOT) six-month moratorium on Boracay establishments' accreditation, reduction in the resort island's pollution is expected as tourism facilities would be forced to act swiftly in making their resorts environmentally compliant, DOT Assistant Secretary Frederick Alegre said Tuesday.

"This is an investment not only for their facility but for the upgrade and sustainability of the island," he said in a text message.

On Feb. 23, DOT's Region VI office recommended the suspension of accreditation in Boracay as follow-up to the national government's massive clean-up drive in the island.

On Monday, DOT announced the six-month moratorium's approval, during which resorts and other establishments must acquire and maintain individual water treatment facility, as well as connect to the centralized sewerage system.

In a DOT memorandum obtained by the Philippine News Agency , new applications and applications for renewal of DOT accreditation will be held in abeyance until concerned establishments present their certificate of environmental laws compliance issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

In a statement, DOT, in coordination with the DENR and DILG, said appropriate criminal and administrative charges will be filed against erring resort operators responsible for the seawater contamination in violation of environmental and tourism laws.

While there is no definitive plan to place Boracay under a state-of-calamity or to close Boracay to international and domestic visitors altogether, it relayed optimism that with cooperation of stakeholder operators, Boracay Island will be completely restored in six month-period.

To recall, President Rodrigo R. Duterte earlier issued a six-month ultimatum to the DENR and the Department of the Interior and Local Government to fix Boracay's environmental issues.

Source: Philippine News Agency

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