Duterte to declare state of calamity in Boracay

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Boracay Island was earlier referred to by President Rodrigo Duterte as a "cesspool." (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 7) —  President Rodrigo Duterte said he will declare a state of calamity in one of the country's most popular tourist destinations.

"Sabi ko na, "Sir, inutusan kita six months. Tapusin mo 'yang problema sa Boracay,"" Duterte said in a Tuesday speech in Malacañang, pertaining to his marching orders to Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) officer-in-charge Eduardo Año.

[Translation: I said, "Sir, you have six months. Finish the problem in Boracay."]

"I know (the) hardships and that is why I would be declaring a state of calamity," he added.

Duterte said a state of calamity would allow the quick release of funds for those who would be financially displaced by the island's clean-up.

The DILG on Thursday eyed declaring a six-month state of calamity to speed up rehabilitation efforts, although the President did not mention a specific period.

READ: DILG eyes 6-month state of calamity in Boracay

6 months to clean 'cesspool'

On Feb. 10, Duterte called Boracay a "cesspool" and ordered the DENR to clean up the island within six months.

READ: Duterte orders DENR to clean up Boracay in 6 months

On Feb. 20, the DENR deployed a "mission team" to address the island's environmental issues, with at least 81 estabishments receiving notices of violation.

READ: DENR issues notices of violation to 81 erring Boracay establishments

Meanwhile, the DILG said on Friday that over 800 establishments in Boracay are facing various violations.

READ: DILG: Over 800 Boracay establishments have violations

"In the meantime, if I were from Boracay or you guys there, the best thing for you to do is to cooperate with the government and hasten the cleanup," Duterte said. "For as long as there are s*** coming out of those pipes draining to the sea, I will never give you the time of the day na bumalik diyan [to return there]."

Duterte also warned the judiciary not to interfere in the rehabilitation efforts.

"I would caution the courts not to interfere by issuing TRO (temporary restraining order) because you would just exacerbate the situation," he said.