MANILA - Boracay may be placed under a state of calamity for six months as an environmental clean-up begins, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) said Thursday.
In a text message to ABS-CBN News, DILG Assistant Secretary Epimaco Densing III said there is also a proposal to close the tourist island for 60 days.
"The proposal is to put the island under a state of calamity (SOC) for 6 months. This does not mean closure yet. Though there's also a proposal to close it from tourists for 60 days," he said.
Should the island be placed under a state of calamity, government agencies will handle management and operations in the island, including infrastructure.
"Infrastructure can be fast-tracked, which includes finishing up the drainage system. Drainage audit to dismantle illegal sewage connections, dismantle illegal structures with no building permits, and structures in forestlands, etc," Densing said.
"Investigate and hold accountable officials, local and national, for the degradation of the island's environment, etc," he added.
Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu earlier ordered the closure of 51 establishments in Boracay found to have violated water, waste management and land use regulations.
This after President Rodrigo Duterte called the crowded island a "cesspool" and threatened to close it down to protect the health of millions of visitors.