Citizen's arrest mulled vs Boracay litter bugs

Bianca Dava, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 16 2018 04:43 PM | Updated as of Oct 16 2018 11:41 PM

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MANILA (UPDATED) - The Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force is satisfied with improvements in Boracay island following almost 6 months of rehabilitation.

On Monday, local tourists were welcomed to the island during the first day of Boracay’s reopening dry run.

After the program, trash was spotted in some areas of the beachfront. A post that went viral on social media showed photos of around two to three plastic cups and spoons scattered at the venue of the program.

Asked for comment, Department of Environment and Natural Resources Undersecretary Benny Antiporda said they are proposing to implement citizen’s arrest against those caught littering.

Antiporda is currently holding a meeting with compliant establishment owners.

“We will be proposing magkaroon ng citizen's arrest. Sila mismo magbantay sa kanilang lugar para masueto ang mga pasaway na nagkakalat sa Boracay,” he said.

“Inaasahan natin ang kooperasyon dito ng mga residente at mga may negosyo,” he added.

The undersecretary said that since it was the first day of the dry run, they weren’t expecting everything to be perfect.

During the 11-day dry run, the government is given a chance to check the island’s water quality, solid waste management, and transportation system ahead of the soft opening.

“Lahat ng pagkakamali at pagkukulang, dito makikita. Ilan ilan lang 'to. Bago pa maging bundok ang basura dito, we need to act on it,” Antiporda said.

He added hotel and resort owners should also produce their own trash bins, which will be placed outside or in front of their establishments.

“The government itself hindi kayang i-implement ito. Hindi kayang bantayan lahat ng tao sa Boracay 24/7, but I can assure you ang taumbayan mismo magbabantay ng sarili nilang bakuran, magtatagumpay ang ating laban laban sa basura.”

On Tuesday, an airline company donated trash bins to Boracay.

Despite having around 30 environment marshals in the island, Antiporda said the responsibility of collecting and throwing trash properly does not lie on the government alone, but also with communities.