Firms given two months to connect to sewage treatment plant or build wastewater treatment in Boracay
Commercial establishments releasing untreated wastewater and sewage into waters of Boracay are given two months to connect to the sewage treatment plant of the Boracay Islang Water Company or install their own wastewater treatment facilities.
“The DENR ( Department of Environment and Natural Resources) is giving them two months to comply with the law. Otherwise, we will close them,” said Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu in a statement Tuesday.
President Rodrigo Duterte recently ordered Cimatu to end problems besetting Boracay which he described as a “cesspool.” He gave Cimatu six months to clean up one of the country’s top tourist destination or else the entire island will be shut down.
According to Cimatu, around 50 to 60 percent of all establishments in Boracay comply with the Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004.
"All the rest direct their pipes to the canals which drain to the sea,” he lamented.
Under the law, establishments and households must dispose septic wastes to a treatment facility.
Cimatu said a notice of violation will be issued to establishments that are illegally connected or are not connected to the sewage treatment plant.
“We will give these establishments three to five days to respond. Otherwise, we will cut their water connections,” Cimatu warned.
Cimatu said the DENR will also go after resort owners who have constructed buildings within areas classified as forestlands.
“Forestlands are no-build zones. What they have done is against the law,” Cimatu said, referring to Presidential Decree No. 705 or the Revised Forestry Code of the Philippines.
Cimatu said he had issued a directive no new environmental compliance certificates or ECC will be issued in Boracay to prevent construction of new buildings.
“For me, the law is the law. This is a different battle but this is our chance to rehabilitate Boracay,” he said. “Once all these problems are fixed, it will be a better Boracay,” he added. DMS