Boracay resort demolishes own illegal viewing deck amid island cleanup

Joyce Ann Clavecillas, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 24 2018 02:21 PM

Resort owner Crisostomo Aquino voluntarily orders the demolition of his viewing deck that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources says destroys the area's natural rock formation. Joyce Ann Clavecillas, ABS-CBN News

BORACAY - One of the resorts operating on this famed beach destination has started demolishing its viewing deck that officials said sits on a rock formation in violation of environmental regulations. 

On Saturday morning, workers commissioned by resort owner Crisostomo Aquino began demolishing the illegal structure in Sitio Diniwid, Barangay Balabag here. 

This followed Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu's inspection Friday, where he pointed out to Aquino that his viewing deck is destroying natural resources.

"He claimed nag-apply siya na gamitin ito. Pero in the process, na-destroy 'yung natural resource, na itong mga kahoy, 'yung rock formation na natural resource dito. Nabanggit ko kay Cris that this has to be demolished,” Cimatu said.

Workers demolish a Boracay resort's viewing deck that sits on a rock formation. Joyce Ann Clavecillas, ABS-CBN News

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) had granted the resort a FLAG-T (Forest Land Agreement for Tourism purposes) permit covering 998 square meters of forestland. The permit has been cancelled but the owner said an appeal is still pending before the Office of the President.

"Ito inapplyan namin ito, pero hindi na-approve. Para na lang suportahan 'yung kampanya ni Presidente [Rodrigo] Duterte na linisin ang Boracay, nag-self demolish na kami,” Aquino said.

The local government of Malay also reiterated the resort's violations in 2014, saying a portion of the resort was subjected to demolition by the LGU. 

"Nag-build siya sa isang "no build zone." Pangalawa, nagpatayo siya ng walang kaukulang permits -- building permit, business permit, occupancy permit,” Executive Assistant to the Mayor Rowen Aguirre said.

The DENR and the local government vowed to continue its crackdown on establishments in Boracay island that violates environmental laws. 

Government initiated an unprecedented cleanup in Boracay this month after the President cited the island's sewage problems, calling it a "cesspool."