MANILA The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) has approved a resolution recommending to President Rodrigo R. Duterte the placement of Boracay Island under a state of calamity.
The draft resolution recommending the declaration of a State of Calamity in the affected barangays covering Boracay Island was approved by the National Council, subject to minimal modification as discussed during the meeting and for review of the Legal Working Group, Defense Secretary and NDRRMC chair Delfin Lorenzana said Monday.
Barangays Balabag, Manoc-Manoc, and Yapak in Malay, Aklan will be covered in the recommended declaration of calamity for one year.
The resolution also recommended the temporary closure of the island for a period of six months to allow the government to hasten its rehabilitation, as well as to address the evolving socio-economic needs of affected communities.
This concerted effort from the National DRRM Council is in continued pursuit of our initiatives to building disaster-resilient Filipino communities, Lorenzana said.
During the special NDRRMC meeting, representatives of the departments of environment, science and technology, and health delivered presentations on the conditions of the island.
Based on the investigation and validation undertaken by the departments of the interior and environment, as well as the local government units, pollution caused by improper waste management and encroachment of protected areas by illegal structures have adversely affected the overall ecological balance of the Island.
Findings of the science department further revealed that beach erosion is prevalent in Boracay, particularly along the West Beach, where as much as 40 meters of erosion has taken place in the past 20 years from 1993 to 2003, largely due to storms, extraction of sand along the beach to raise properties, and structures along the foreshore.
In addition, data from DRRM Council 6 (Western Visayas) showed a significant increase in tourist arrivals in the island in the past five years, from 1,206,252 in 2012 to 2,001,974 in 2017.
Source: Philippine News Agency