Palace defends Boracay closure anew over non-compliant hotels

MANILA MalacaAang on Tuesday defended anew the six-month closure of the island of Boracay, noting that only 25 out of over 1,000 inspected establishments in the island were compliant with existing environmental regulations.

Gaya ng report ng inter-agency, 25 lang po out of 1,000 plus establishments ang sumusunod sa ating mga batas ng kalikasan (As mentioned in the inter-agency report, only 25 out of 1,000 plus establishments follow environmental laws), Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a Palace briefing.

Mabuti nga po naisara na ang Boracay, dahil ngayong sarado siya eh nagkakaroon tayo ng compliance audit at lumalabas na halos walang compliant talaga diyan sa isla na iyan (It's actually good that Boracay was shut down because now that it's closed, we have conducted compliance audit and it shows that there are barely any establishments compliant in that island), he added.

Last week, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said that it has discovered some 33 pipes suspected to be discharging wastewater into the beach.

According to DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu, the 33 pipes have been found through the agency's use of ground penetrating radar (GPR).

These pipes are reportedly causing the erratic water quality in White Beach.

Cimatu, meanwhile, warned that full maximum penalty will be imposed against erring establishments behind these illegal pipes.

Roque, meanwhile, urged affected residents and informal workers in the island to avail of the cash-for-work (CFW) program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) as the island undergoes six-month rehabilitation.

The implementation of the CFW program began this month.

Citing DSWD report, Roque said that the beneficiaries from the three villages of Balabag, Manoc-Manoc and Yapak can access CFW program for a 30-day period.

Beneficiaries will receive 100 percent of the regional wage rate amounting to PHP323.50 per day or PHP9,705 per month, he added.

There are two types of work classified under the program, which include labor work and technical or office work.

Labor work includes digging, dredging, desilting canals and drainage systems, planting trees, clearing pathways, shelter facility repair, demolition of illegal infrastructure, clearing debris, garbage collection, and installation of support facilities.

Technical or office work includes assisting in enumeration, task profiling, report preparation, preparation of replenishment and liquidation report. (With reports from Leilani S. Junio/PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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