Boracay reopening depends on serious stakeholder cooperation
Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said the early reopening of Boracay Island would depend on the cooperation of its stakeholders, particularly the owners of establishments affected by road widening and crackdown on illegal sewerage connections.
Cimatu issued the statement following his visit to the island over the weekend where he gained the commitment of Stellar Hotel Boracay, which is situated along Bulabog Beach, to demolish its property that clearly encroached on the road easement.
Stellar Hotel is a low-rise, 12-room establishment that is a subsidiary of Astoria, a chain of luxury hotels which owns two high-end resort hotels along the island’s famous White Beach.
The hotel sits smack along the route of the circumferential road, which is being constructed as an alternative to the main road for vehicles bringing logistics into the island.
“We could have [destroyed] it before, but we gave them due process. Now we can complete the road network, and close the main road so that the DPWH can finish everything they need to do for the road widening,” he said, adding that the demolition of the hotel starts today.
He also hailed the decision of several establishments along the main road to demolish portions of their buildings with “overhang” or floors protruding over the easement requirement.
Cimatu clarified that the road easement does not only apply to ground floors but also to upper ones, to give way to electric posts and power lines that would need to be moved or erected during the road widening.
The environment chief also reiterated the need to remove illegal settlers along wetlands, to reduce the level of coliform in their waters.
He particularly cited Wetland 3 near Bulabog and Wetland 6 in Balabag/Manocmanoc area where the coliform levels were still relatively high due to the presence of illegal settlers along their banks.