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DOT, DENR, DILG recommend total closure of Boracay for up to 1 year

The Departments of Environment and Natural Resources, Interior and Local Government, and Tourism recommended the total closure of island resort Boracay so it can be rehabilitated.

Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, Interior officer-in-charge Eduardo Año, and Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo announced their recommendation to the President on Thursday.

“For public health, public interest, and general welfare, I recommend to the President the closure of Boracay island as tourist destination for a maximum of one year effective one month after the declaration,” Cimatu said in a statement.

The departments recommended the to do the following improvements while the island is closed:

  • Upgrading the sewerage system, including sewer lines, to meet the requirement of the entire island as a major tourist destination
  • Installation of all the required solid waste management facilities and mechanisms in addition to full compliance with provisions of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act
  • Removal of illegal structures in forestlands and wetlands, easement areas and even geologically hazardous areas such as those with sink holes
  • Road widening and construction, pipe laying and excavations
  • Rationalization of a transportation system

Cimatu said closing the island resort to tourism will give ample time to undisrupted implementation of measures restoring and eventually sustaining Boracay as a prime tourism destination. —VDS, GMA News