LGUs told to fix early signs of environmental damage
Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu has told local government units (LGUs) nationwide to be on the lookout for warning signs of environmental degradation so they could take steps to prevent them from getting worse.
By doing this, he said, LGUs especially those who have jurisdiction over island destinations would prevent a situation similar to what is happening to Boracay, which had to be temporarily closed down in order for national government to fix its environmental problems associated with overdevelopment.
“If you are aware of the issue on Boracay, owing to the cumulative effect of rapid development, the influx of people beyond the island’s carrying capacity, and the poor implementation of environmental laws, particularly the Clean Water Act, and the illegal encroachment on easement areas and forestlands, Boracay’s unique and unspoiled condition has since deteriorated,” Cimatu said.
Cimatu has been tasked by President Rodrigo Duterte to clean up Boracay, which the latter described as a “cesspool” due to sustained environmental damage.
“I would like to let you know that I am determined to fully implement the President’s order,” Cimatu assured.
He reported that around 100 DENR personnel, 12 of them from Bicol Region, are in Boracay to determine any illegal discharge of untreated wastewater into the sea and encroachment into foreslands and wetlands, including illegal constructions within easement areas.