After four years of flexing muscles to improve the Boracay Island, the rehabilitation and management of the world-famous beach has finally completed, the he Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said on Wednesday, June 22.
Acting DENR Sec. Jim Sampulna said the completion of the Boracay rehabilitation means that the supervision of the area is now transferred from the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF) to the local government unit.
“This culmination means the responsibility will now be with the local government of Malay. Please take care of Boracay the way we did it,” said Sampulna who also chairs the BIATF.
“The challenge here is how you can maintain Boracay’s cleanliness and sanitation, including the discipline of the people,” he added.
The BIATF, vice-chaired by the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), was created by President Duterte through Executive Order (EO) 53 on May 8, 2018. Its term was supposed to end in 2020, two years after its creation, but President Duterte extended its tenure until May 8, 2021, with the issuance of EO 115 on May 11, 2020.
On Sept. 14, 2021, the BIATF’s term was extended again until June 30, 2022, through EO 148, to give it more time to complete all its projects.
Sampulna assured the local officials that although the BIATF would no longer be at the frontline, the task force would continue to assist them to sustain the gains of the Boracay rehabilitation.
He added that the DENR, through its Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), plans to establish a real-time monitoring system on the four-kilometer white beach of Boracay to make sure that the cleanliness of the island’s waters will be maintained.
Sampulna said It will be modeled after the Environmental Quality Data Center at the EMB executive building in Quezon City that was launched last month.
“The data center provides real-time monitoring of air and water quality, including the status of solid and hazardous waste management, facilities with environmental compliance certificates or ECCs, and online permitting system,” said Sampulna.