DENR issues notices of violation to 81 erring Boracay establishments

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 22) — More Boracay establishments may face closure after the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) issued notices of violation (NOV) to 30 more Boracay establishments with environmental lapses.

Speaking to CNN Philippines' On the Record, DENR Usec. Jonas Leones revealed the number of establishments served NOVs in Boracay have increased to 81 as of Thursday.

"'Yung 51 natin since last Feb. 15 (that 51 was as of February 15). As of now, the DENR has already issued the notice of violation to 81 establishments and show cause orders ordered to forestland illegal occupants and those occupying within the 30-meter limit from the shoreline of the beaches," he said.

Leones did not name any of the establishments as the department has yet to hear their sides.

The move comes after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered a crack down on violators of environment laws in Boracay, pointing out sewerage issues in the world-famous island.

He directed DENR Sec. Roy Cimatu to fix concerns hounding the popular tourist destination within six months, or he would close it.

The directive has triggered a crack down on erring Boracay establishments. The DENR, the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Department of Interior and Local Government have also collaborated to fast-track efforts to address Boracay's issues.

Cimatu, who estimated only 50 to 60 percent of percent of Boracay establishments comply with the country's Clean Water Act, had earlier warned violating companies he would give them two months to install or connect to the island's sewage treatment facility or close them.

The move is part of the Environment Department's three phase approach to fixing Boracay's woes.

Aside from sending out show-cause orders to facilities not connected to sewage treatment plants, DENR also plans to dismantle illegal structures and identify properties built on Boracay's wetlands and forest lands.

Boracay has consistently been named one of the best islands in the world. The DOT said it generates around ₱50 billion in annual receipts.

Last year, more than two million tourists visited the island, according to Malay Municipal Tourism office records.