Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año has reminded newly-promoted officials of the department to be vigilant in checking violations of environmental and other laws to prevent another Boracay-like crisis.
Año said the officials hould learn from what is happening in Boracay and how they can avoid these problems in other beaches that are known as tourist hot spots.
In Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte, Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu urged the local government unit (LGU) to protect the crystal-clear waters of the town’s beaches to prevent a crisis similar to that of Boracay.
He enjoined them to strictly enforce environmental laws, particularly the Philippine Clean Water Act and the Solid Waste Management Act.
He warned town officials led by Mayor Marlon Sales that the Pagudpud LGU would be liable if the environment was neglected under their watch.
Año, on the other hand, said other tourist draws like El Nido, Coron, Siargao and Camiguin should be protected by LGUs from experiencing environmental woes.
“Help us rectify and solve the problems in Boracay by making a chain of actions in your areas so that other parts of the country will not suffer the same fate,” he said.
There are 31 newly promoted officials in the DILG, where 20 are Local Government Operations Officer VIII holding the ranks of city and provincial directors and five were promoted to Director III and are now full-pledged assistant directors.
Three other newly-promoted officers hold Director IV positions as bureau directors and three were promoted to Career Executive Service Officers III.
Cimatu also called on all stakeholders to determine compliance of their resorts and commercial establishments with the two environmental acts.
He said he did not want Pagudpud to suffer a fate similar to that of Boracay.
After an inspection at beach resorts in Saud and Balaoi, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) ordered strict implementation of the “25+5” easement between buildings and the shore.
This mandatory salvage or easement zone area–25 meters plus 5 meters–is measured from the high tide mark.
with EIREENE GOMEZ