Cimatu clears Panglao Island, says waters 'better than Boracay'

Annie Perez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 20 2018 06:23 PM

PANGLAO, Bohol - There is no reason to close down Panglao island to tourists as establishments along the popular Alona beach comply with the Clean Water Act, Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu said Tuesday.

Cimatu and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia inspected 50 beachfront establishments in Panglao as the government cracks down on businesses that violate environmental laws in major tourist destinations.

The series of inspections began in February after President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to "shut down" Boracay island calling it a "cesspool".

"It is better than Boracay, and if we keep the establishments away from the 20 meter easement then this place will be very nice," Cimatu told reporters.

Despite Panglao's clean waters, at least 37 resorts, restaurants, and stores will be given violation notices for building structures in the 20-meter easement zone mandated by the law.

Those who will be given notices will have 2 to 3 months to demolish their structures inside the no-build zone.

Business owners and managers assured government officials that they will comply before the Environment chief returns here in June to reinspect the island.