DOT beefs up resort inspections in Boracay

Aleta Nieva Nishimori, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 16 2018 11:37 AM | Updated as of Feb 16 2018 12:17 PM

MANILA - The Department of Tourism on Friday said it will conduct more inspections of business establishments on Boracay Island after President Duterte dubbed the country's most famous tourist hotspot a cesspool.

"May inspection ulit kami this month, every month yan...talagang sisilipin yung compliance," said DOT spokesperson, Assistant Secretary Frederick Alegre.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources recently ordered the closure of 51 establishments found to have violated water, waste management and land use regulations.

Alegre said that based on the initial list from the DENR, there are about 40 establishments who violated the 25+5 meters easement regulation.

He added that only 25 establishments have been found connected to a water sewage treatment facility.

"Base dun sa hindi nag-konekta sa water sewage treatment, ang inisyal na listahan, out of the 550 establishments may unang 118 na ininspeksiyon. Out of the 118, only 25 are connected. 93 have no connections," said Alegre.

"Ang tanong ng DENR, san ninyo idini-discharge yung sewage nyo?"

The team, led by the DENR, also discovered illegal connections to the rainwater drainage pipes of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority.

"Ang masakit, yung ipinagawa nating rain drainage line, nakita ng DENR may nagkabit illegally ng kanilang sewage line," he said.

Alegre said they have put up a compliance monitoring office in Boracay and added that they will no longer give accreditation to new hotels or resorts without a water treatment facility.

Earlier this month, President Rodrigo Duterte vowed to close down the popular tourist destination.

"Yung mga existing, bibigyan ng 6 months na magpatayo o magpakabit ng sewage system facility. Kung hindi, di ire-renew," he said.

Boracay attracts more than 2 million tourists a year and brings in P56 billion pesos in annual revenues, the department and industry sources said.

Duterte also ordered the Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu to clean up the Island within 6 months.

"Were hoping within the 6-months period na magkaroon ng compliance ang lahat ng mga violators," Alegre said.