MANILA - The environment department has ordered the closure of one of the first resorts in tourist island Boracay after it was found to have violated easement laws, amid efforts to maintain rehabilitation efforts done in 2018.
In a statement, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said it ordered the closure of Boracay Plaza Beach Resort located in Station 1 as it exceeded road easement limits set by law, a violation subject to the suspension of the establishment's operations.
DENR added that the Boracay Plaza Beach Resort was also suspended for operating "without necessary permits and clearances."
It was the first closure of a resort on the island since it was reopened after a 6-month rehabilitation in October 2018, the DENR said.
The said resort was already issued a demolition order last April 2018, around the time the island was shut down for rehabilitation, after its front and back sides were "found to have exceeded the required coastal and road easements."
Under the law, the required coastal easements on the island is at 30 meters while the road easement is at 6 meters from the center of the road.
DENR asserted the the beach resort "continued to operate in defiance of the law" as other establishments adjacent to the resort were said to have demolished structures which violated the easement rule.
Boracay was closed down for six months from April to October 2018 as part of efforts at the island's environmental rehabilitation. It has grappled with sewage problems and overcrowding, among other environmental woes.
The government also initiated a crackdown on erring establishments found to have violated environment and city laws.
The Boracay Plaza Beach Resort is one of the island's oldest resorts, having been open before the influx of tourists on the island between the '70s and the '90s.
- with reports from Angela Coloma and Bianca Dava, ABS-CBN News