Cimatu assures there’s no letup in strict enforcement of environmental laws
Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said there will be no letup in the government effort to strictly enforce environmental laws and regulations designed to restore, preserve and protect the country’s rich environment and vast natural resources.
“We will prioritize the environment. We will strengthen our Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) in the provincial level which job is to take care of the environment,” Cimatu said during a Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) management conference in Batanes.
He said the Boracay problem should serve as a lesson not just for local government officials but also for those in the DENR who must be proactive in handling environmental concerns.
Cimatu said he plans to put up a DENR office in every tourist destination in the country, just like what he did in Boracay.
Even before Boracay was closed to tourists to pave the way for its rehabilitation, Cimatu already ordered the re-establishment of a Community Environment and Natural Resources Office there to ensure the sustainability of environmental programs intended solely for the world-famous island paradise.
Cimatu also said he won’t recommend the reopening of Boracay until the fecal coliform contamination is addressed.
“The ball is in our hands. We have to bring down the coliform. This is non-negotiable,” Cimatu said, as he announced the deployment of some DENR and EMB regional directors to the island to solve the problem in a month.
Cimatu likewise directed all his field officials to prioritize the cleanup of water bodies within their jurisdiction.