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May 30, 2018 @ 17:48

Boracay water polluters face hefty fines and criminal charges

Severe penalties await the owners of establishments that operate the newly discovered underground sewers and pipelines that illegally discharge into the waters of Boracay.

Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu today said that once the sources of the illegal connections have been traced and verified, the erring establishments will be penalized accordingly.

“We will not hesitate to file appropriate charges against these erring establishments and base these charges on all the violations we can possibly identify against them, with maximum penalty, for contributing to the deterioration of Boracay,” Cimatu said.

According to Cimatu, owners of the illegal pipelines could be held liable for violating Republic Act No. 9275, or the Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004.

Under the law, any person who commits any of the “prohibited acts” or violates any of its provisions could be fined by the Secretary of the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), upon the recommendation of the Pollution Adjudication Board, in the amount of not more than P200,000 for every day of violation, starting from the day the pipelines were installed.

Depending on the gravity of the offense, Cimatu could issue a closure order against the owner of the establishment.

Blatant disregard of such orders and penalties could lead to the filing of criminal charges against violators.

Over the weekend, the DENR—together with representatives from the Aklan provincial government and 100 soldier trainees from the 3rd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army— excavated 26 illegal pipes along Boracay’s world-famous white sand beach.

The 26 pipes were located in and around 16 establishments along the beach. Some of the source establishments have been confirmed, while others are for further investigation.


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