MANILA - Only 38 out of 1,552 establishments in Boracay complied fully with business and environment rules, one of the officials leading the island's cleanup said Tuesday.
Boracay was like the "wild, wild west," where some businessmen, "follow the law at their option," said Interior Assistant Secretary Epimaco Densing III.
Violators were given 5 months to complete business requirements, Densing told ANC's Early Edition, adding, "If they have not complied when the island reopens, then we will have to close them down."
Businessmen and residents that were found to have discharged wastewater beneath Boracay's white sand beach were also directed to dismantle their pipes or pay fines of P10,000 to P200,000.
At least 21 illegal sewage pipes have been detected. Environment Sec. Roy Cimatu earlier said some 16 hotels and tourism establishments were responsible for some of the illegal sewage.
Last month, the government barred tourists from entering Boracay, one of the country's top beach destinations, to give way to a 6-month rehabilitation to cleanse its "cesspools."