Gov't on target on 6-month Boracay rehab, DENR chief says
Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu said on Wednesday the government is on target of rehabilitating Boracay island in Aklan.
Despite a survey by the Social Weather Stations showing majority of the Filipinos support Boracay rehabilitation for one year, the interagency group, including the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, would stick to the six-month target, Cimatu said.
"The DENR is now leading efforts to rehabilitate Boracay and we are on target. We are rushing to complete the job within the six-month period given to us by the President (Rodrigo Duterte)," he said in a speech during the department's 31st anniversary celebration.
Cimatu noted the request of the public for the island's one-year closure with 64 percent approval rating based on the SWS survey.
"But we will stick to the plan and, again, we are on target. We will be able to open Boracay again and take pride in bringing back the island to its former glory," Cimatu stressed.
Duterte has ordered Boracay's closure for six months starting last April to rehabilitate the island, which he likened to a "cesspool."
Duterte, in a speech during the event, said a committee will be created for the distribution of land in Boracay.
"So there has to be a committee to be fair to everybody. From the local government then from the origins of any title there," he said.
Duterte said despite commercial establishments in Boracay, it remains a forestal and agriculture area. Celerina Monte/DMS