By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
Boracay Island is no longer a cesspool, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu declared on the first day of the 10-day dry run for the soft opening of Boracay Island on Monday.
“Boracay is now a sight to behold and the entire island will even be grander in the near future,” Cimatu said.
However, “this is no time for us to relax and lower our guards. While much has been gained already, there are still a lot of things to be done and we still ask for your extended patience, support and understanding,” he added.
The DENR chief said the 11-day dry run aims to check the status of the environmental intervention done on Boracay Island for the past six months since it was closed to tourism activities.
“We will monitor if the rehabilitation works with the arrival of tourists,” he added.
The island is scheduled to be fully reopened to tourists on October 26.
Since April, Cimatu said there is now a visible improvement in Boracay’s water quality.
“Tests done by the Environmental Management Bureau revealed that the coliform level is now down to 18.1, with 100 as the threshold, from a high of thousands or even millions in some areas of the island in the previous months,” he said.
As part of the dry run activities, the Boracay Interagency Task Force (BIATF) led by Cimatu, will also look into the solid waste management in the island.
“Garbage should be immediately moved out of the island and not stay here for more than 24 hours,” he said.
Furthermore, Cimatu said electric tricycles will also be tried on the newly constructed roads.