More than 200 Boracay establishments fined for violating environmental laws

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More than 200 Boracay establishments were fined between ₱10,000 and a million pesos based on the duration of their violation of environmental laws.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 30) — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) fined 209 establishments in Boracay for violating environmental laws.     

On Monday, the DENR said that their Pollution Adjudication Board (PAB) found 110 of the 209 firms in the popular tourist destination violated Section 1, Rule 19 of Republic Act 8749 or the Clean Air Act. Under the rule, all sources of air pollution must have a valid Permit to Operate while new or modified sources must first obtain an Authority to Construct.

Seventy-two other firms were found to have no discharge permit for water pollutants, under Section 27(c) of RA 9275 o Clean Water Act.

The remaining 27 firms had other unspecified violations in the said laws.

The establishments were fined  between ₱10,000 and a million pesos based on the duration of their violation. In total, the fines amounted to ₱43 million.

"We at the DENR believe that anyone who pollutes or destroys the environment must pay the cost for that destruction," PAB presiding officer and DENR Undersecretary Rodolfo Garcia said in a statement.

Until the fines are paid and other environmental laws are observed, Garcia said the establishments will not be granted permits to operate.

"We will continue to monitor all establishments and impose the necessary penalties should they be found breaking laws," he added.

Boracay was closed for six months until it was opened to tourists on October 26. President Rodrigo Duterte had ordered the closure due to the island's environmental state.