DENR wants to reclaim ‘missing’ Boracay wetlands
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said it will reclaim four wetlands encroached by business establishments and illegal settlers in Boracay.
Secretary Roy Cimatu made the assurance during the public hearing conducted by the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, chaired by Senator Cynthia Villar.
“They (wetlands) need to be restored because they act as catchment during the rainy days and they prevent flooding,” Cimatu told the committee.
Wetlands are the link between land and water, and are some of the most productive ecosystems in the world.
Wetlands are important because they protect and improve water quality, provide fish and wildlife habitats, store floodwaters and maintain surface water flow during dry periods.
Cimatu noted that there actually a total of nine wetlands in Boracay, but an investigation by the DENR’s National Task Force Boracay (NTFB) revealed that four of these wetlands remain to be accounted for.
The “missing” wetlands, he said, are now occupied by a mall, a resort hotel and around 100 illegal settlers, who contribute to water pollution in the island.