BORACAY - (UPDATE) A pipe discharging foul-smelling liquid and white foam was unearthed along White Beach here on Tuesday, authorities said, as the cleanup of one of the country's top tourist draws entered its sixth day.
The murky liquid flowed from the pipe and formed a puddle on the beach. It was dug up after residents alerted authorities to a foul smell, said Richard Favila, officer in charge of the Environment Department on the island.
"Siguradong waste water ito kasi mabaho. Kung treated water iyan, hindi 'yan ganiyan kabaho," he said.
(This is surely waste water because of the foul smell. It this were treated water, it would not smell as bad.)
A team from the Department of Public Works and Highways dug into the sand and found a 6-inch diameter blue pipe, cushioned with sand bags to conceal the leak.
“Maiksi lang ‘yung tubo, sa sand lang nagdi-discharge. Pero kapag high tide, aabot ‘yung discharge sa tubig,” Fabila said.
(The pipe is just short so it just discharges on the sand. But during high tide, the discharge will reach the water.)
Authorities have yet to trace the source of the illegal discharge.
The Environment Department also took water samples from the puddle to test the fecal coliform level of the liquid.
A Boracay resident reported to the government hotline that at least 3 pipes discharging what appeared to be soap suds and other liquids were hidden along White Beach, Interior and Local Government Assistant Secretary Epimaco Densing III said in an interview on DZMM.
Last week, Boracay was shut down to tourists for half a year after President Rodrigo Duterte said the island has turned into a cesspool due to illegal discharge of waste water to the sea.
The island has been one of the top beach destinations in the Philippines.
In 2017, about 3.7 million tourists flew to the island known for its powdery beaches, data from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines showed.