By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
The Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF) on Tuesday led the demolition of a resort that failed to heed orders to self-demolish in violation of the 30-meter easement rule.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources-led (DENR) task force carried out the demolition work of structures belonging to Boracay Plaza Beach Resort after the final 15-day ultimatum given to establishments encroaching on the shoreline easement zone had expired.
All other establishments responded positively to the ultimatum issued by BIATF, except for Boracay Plaza, which is owned by a certain Anita Aguirre.
The resort has structures built on approximately 1,000 square meters of land within the easement zone.
DENR Secretary and BIATF chair Roy Cimatu announced the ultimatum during the meeting of the task force held last February 28.
“Erring establishments had already been given more than enough time to shape up since the closure,” Cimatu said.
“It would be unfair to those who voluntarily demolished and complied with the easement rule if we will not enforce the law to those who did not,” he added.
Aside from violating the easement rule, Boracay Plaza was also found to be operating without the required permits.
Boracay Plaza had been issued three orders to vacate and self-demolish its structure since April 26, 2018 when the island was ordered closed for six months to pave the way for much-needed rehabilitation. The owner defied all three orders.
The demolition team was supervised by BIATF management group manager and DENR Director Natividad Bernadino, Aklan provincial police chief Senior Supt. Lope Manlapaz, Malay Acting Mayor Abram Sualog, representatives from the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Department of Tourism, and DENR lawyers.
Bernardino reported that nine other establishments that had been given the same 15-day ultimatum on March 4 had already either partially or completely demolished their structures.
These were the Blue Lilly Hotel, Calveston International Inc., Exclusive Dawn VIP Boracay Resort, Little Prairie Inn, New Wave Divers, Steve’s Cliff/Boracay Terraces Resort, True Homes, Watercolors Dive shop, and Willy’s Rock Resort.
All 10 establishments, including Boracay Plaza, were the last remaining structures along the White Beach to be demolished, making the area fully compliant with the 30-meter beach easement rule.