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Study on Boracay’s carrying capacity will be out in August, says Cimatu

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will release a study on Boracay's carrying capacity next month, as rehabilitation continues on the island set to reopen in late October.

"'Yung sa carrying capacity, 'yung gumagawa they stick to the four or three months na binigay so end of August [ito] ire-release," Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu said on the sidelines of Pre-SONA forum in Pasay City on Wednesday.

Senator Nancy Binay had expressed concern that the government may have given both businesses and the public false hope by announcing the October re-opening of Boracay when its carrying capacity—the number of people it can sustain at any given time—has yet to be determined.

Cimatu earlier announced that Boracay will officially re-open to the general public on October 26.

"It will be really our basis sa mga fine-tuning namin sa rehabilitation," the Environment chief said.

Interior Undersecretary Epimaco Densing earlier said that the inter-agency task force will discuss how the entry of tourists will be managed once the DENR releases its study on Boracay's carrying capacity. He also said that the DILG and the DOT will assist the department in the task.

A 2008 study found that Boracay has a carrying capacity of 35,000 people. However, the island carries 60,000 on ordinary days and as many as 110,000 during peak season. The study also showed that, at least as of 2008, Boracay had 32,500 residents.

Boracay island was closed for six months from April 26 to give way for clean-up and rehabilitation due to environmental woes. Cimatu said the government is sticking to the six-month deadline.

"I will see to it that it will be a new Boracay," he said.

The Environment chief said the DENR is also set to release a list of establishments on the island that violated environmental laws, as well as their corresponding penalties.

"They have to face the offense na nagawa nila especially sa quality of the water," Cimatu said. — BM, GMA News