Boracay ‘no longer a cesspool’ and will re-open Oct. 26 — Cimatu

Published July 11, 2018, 5:11 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Ben Rosario

Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu on Wednesday assured lawmakers that Boracay island “is no longer a cesspool” and will be ready to accept visitors on October 26.

Appearing at a congressional hearing conducted Wednesday by the House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, Cimatu boasted of the vast improvement in the country’s premiere resort island, which was closed due to serious sanitation and environmental problems.


Last week, the House panel conducted an ocular inspection of the island resort to determine the progress of the government’s bid to clean it up and put in place much-needed sanitation infrastructure.

Congressmen proposed that water and sewerage systems in the island should be patterned after the existing Metro Manila model.

At Wednesday’s congressional hearing, lawmakers aired concern over the targeted reopening of Boracay.

“I would like to say categorically that we will be opening Boracay [on] Oct. 26… Categorically I am saying that boracay is no longer a cesspool,” Cimatu assured members of the panel.

On the other hand, Undersecretary Ernesto Adobo added that the DENR was “on track” with its timeline, and was “just awaiting the completion of the paving of the roads.”

According to Adobo, government has been o concentrating on the “demolition of occupants in the wetlands, because that’s directly related to our objective of cleaning the water.”

Representatives of the Boracay Island Water Company, Inc., aired serious misgivings over the issuance of DENR Memorandum Circular No. 2018-06, which decommissioned the sewer line along the White Beach area because of the contamination of surrounding waters.

The DENR directive also enjoined hotels and resorts in the area with more than 50 rooms to set up their own sewage treatment plants (STP), while those with fewer rooms would be given the option to share facilities.

BIWC general manager Joseph Michael Santos made an appeal that 23 large establishments and 607 smaller ones. which could access the main road sewer. be allowed to use that line for the time being.

Santos said only four large establishments and 76 smaller ones were solely connected to the decommissioned beachfront sewer and would really need to set up their own STPs.

He also warned of serious threat to mangroves, saying that allowing establishments to have their own STPs will contribute to serious pollution issues.