DENR: Number of tourists in Boracay has reached 'alarming levels'

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 19 2018 05:58 PM

MANILA - The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on Friday said the number of tourists in Boracay has reached “alarming levels” as government agencies and the private sector worked on innovations for sustainable development.

Asked about the current status of the popular island resort, DENR Undersecretary Juan Miguel Cuna said the government is in the process of making an inventory of business establishments in Boracay to determine which ones are violating laws and other regulations.

“It is moving towards alarming levels in terms of carrying capacity and solid waste management, which is why as far as we are concerned, the DENR is making an inventory of establishments there,” he said.

Cuna added that the influx of tourists from cruise ships have added to the growing number of visitors to Boracay.

The DENR and the Department of Tourism recently met to address problems in Boracay, which recently experienced severe flooding.

Cuna would not say if business establishments found violating laws and regulations would be dismantled, saying the inventory started during the last administration.

“I’m sure there is still a lot to be done there,” he said.

Cuna was at the press conference for the launch of the 2nd Philippine Environment Summit to be held in Cebu City from February 20 to 22. 

The summit will be held in partnership with environment group Green Convergence led by its president Dr. Angelina Galang.

The gathering of environment stakeholders will be a “showcase of programs and projects that positively contribute to the social and economic advancement, while protecting the environment and a call to enhance convergence of the different sectors to level up innovative programs to accelerate the drive towards sustainable development.”

Galang said solid waste management, among others, is on top of the agenda in the summit, citing, for example, the mango industry where zero waste is achievable.

“Not even the seed will be thrown away because you can get flour from the mango seed,” she said.

Among plenary speakers at the event are Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, Deputy Ombudsman Gerard Mosquera, Energy Development Corporation Chair and CEO Federico Lopez and other prominent personalities from other sectors.

Galang said foremost climate change advocate former US Vice President Al Gore declined to attend the summit but would be sending a video message.