Boracay resort group to face legal action over fake documents to operate

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(File photo)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 17) — The Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force is planning to take legal action against a resort company for allegedly faking papers so it could operate on the island.

In July, the government suspended the permits of all resorts and hotels in Boracay due to the massive six-month cleanup. These establishments would then be subjected to a reassessment as part of the rehabilitation.

So far, only 68 of the more than 400 establishments have passed muster.

None of the six establishments under the Henann Group of Resorts, the company being accused by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), were included in the list.

The Task Force, however, discovered the company submitted what appeared to be a fake DENR environment compliance certificate.

The document did not have a control number, an embossed seal, and a DENR endorsement letter.

The Department of Tourism discovered the discrepancy and brought it to the DENR's attention.

The DENR said it will file legal action against Henann.

"We will be filing legal action against them, because this kind of action will not be tolerated. This is a big hotel chain here in Boracay... Hindi naman po sila lulusot dahil nagkakaroon pa kami ng counter checking e. At the end of the line, pagkarating sa dot, chinechek pa rin po namin e [They will not slip through because we conduct counter checking. At the end of the line, we check]," Environment Undersecretary Benny Antiporda said.

The resort group is denying the allegations.

On Wednesday, Dindo Salazar, resort manager-Boracay of the Henann Group of Companies told the media, "As far as I know, our management has an ongoing investigation of this case. And our president, Ms. Helen Lim, hasn't authorized anybody to submit unofficial or fake documents and that is why we are having this investigation which we will update the Boracay Inter-Agency Department in due time."

Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu said Monday he met with Henann's owner in Boracay who tried to explain what happened – that it was an office staff member who prepared the document, and the owner had no knowledge about it.

Despite the explanation, Cimatu said a case would still be filed.

"Nagso-sorry nga e, nagso-sorry yung may ari kahapon. Nagso-sorry sya. Na, pasensya na lang yung ginawa ng aking, sabi ko hindi pasensya. Kaso yan," he said.

[Translation: The owner was apologizing yesterday. I said it was no good. That's a case.]