Some Boracay establishments still discharge wastes in the sea – DILG

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Lack of a proper sewage system, illegal structures, and abuse of the environment forced President Rodrigo Duterte to order the shutdown of the popular tourist destination known for its powdery white beaches on April 26, calling the waters around the island a "cesspool." (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 10) — Interior Department officer-in-charge Eduardo Año on Friday revealed some establishments on Boracay island still illegally discharge wastes in the sea.

Año said there are "indicators" wastes are still being dumped in the waters at night.

"Ang tagal nang sarado ang Boracay, bakit meron pa rin? Kasi hino-hoard nila ang waste… Binubuga nila yan sa gabi unti-unti," Año said.

[Translation: "Boracay has been closed for so long, why are there still wastes? It's because they are hoarding the waste and dump them at night."]

Lack of a proper sewage system, illegal structures, and abuse of the environment forced President Rodrigo Duterte to order the shutdown of the popular tourist destination known for its powdery white beaches on April 26, calling the waters around the island a "cesspool."

In an exclusive interview with CNN Philippines on Boracay Thursday, Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu said the sewage system in Boracay will be completed by September as the government is bent on meeting its deadline for reopening the island to tourists on October 26.

READ: Rebuilding Boracay: Timeline, what to expect

Año, however, said those who continue to pollute Boracay's waters refuse to pay for these sewerage system services.

He added there could still be illegal pipes buried deep in the island where wastes still pass through.

The government has hired divers to track the source of the wastes from the sea to the establishment, he said.

Año, as acting head of the Department of Interior and Local Government, is part of the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force formed by Duterte to rehabilitate the island within six months.

He said the task force is optimistic newly-appointed Ombudsman Samuel Martires would grant their request for a preventive suspension against local officials who allowed illegal structures on Boracay.

Local officials of Malay, Aklan, the town that has jurisdiction over Boracay, are facing charges for alleged neglect of duty at the Office of the Ombudsman.