DENR Western Visayas cites Boracay rehab as key environmental achievement of Duterte

Published June 5, 2022, 2:45 PM

by Tara Yap

A COUPLE walks on the white sand beach of Boracay with the iconic Willy’s Rock in the background. (Tara Yap/File/Manila Bulletin)
ILOILO CITY – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-Region 6 (Western Visayas) considers the rehabilitation of world-famous Boracay Island as a key environmental achievement of President Duterte’s administration in the region.

“So far, the Boracay rehabilitation is the biggest in terms of the interventions made,” said DENR Region 6 Director Livino Duran as the country commemorates Environment Month.

While the rehabilitation program of the country’s most famous beach destination is not yet finished, it is almost 90 percent complete.

The resort island in Malay, Aklan had to be closed for six months in 2018 to pave the way for the long-term rehabilitation that included removing illegal structures from the beachfront, the forestlands, and the wetlands.

Duran admitted that many thought the Boracay rehabilitation was an impossible task. “The Boracay closure really hurt. It costs a lot. We were serious. It wasn’t a joke,” Duran said.

Duran said that the leadership of Secretary Roy Cimatu as DENR chief pushed the seriousness of the rehabilitation as the DENR took the lead role in implementing environmental laws in coordination with other government agencies.

Meanwhile, DENR Region 6 is hopeful that the rehabilitation will still be a priority of the next administration to be able to sustain the environmental balance at the country’s tourism crown jewel.