DENR personnel in Boracay mess face scrutiny

MANILAThe Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will exact full accountability from its personnel tasked to protect Boracay Island.

DENR Undersecretary Rodolfo Garcia said the department would probe such personnel to see if they either failed to carry out their task or conspired with Boracay establishments in violating environmental laws.

"I don't think anybody should go scot-free if he or she committed something wrong," Garcia said on the sidelines of the DENR's 5th Wildlife Law Enforcement Awarding Ceremony in Metro Manila on Friday.

The DENR is on a six-month mission to clean up Boracay, as instructed by President Rodrigo r. Duterte.

Garcia said the department would do what is needed to restore Boracay to its near-original state.

"We want to keep Boracay in pristine condition," he said.

Ridding Boracay of both pollution and private establishments' encroachment on public land is so far the DENR's priority concern to avert further degradation of the country's popular tourist spot.

This does not, however, mean the department is no longer going after its personnel and other parties responsible for such degradation, Garcia said.

Earlier, Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu ordered the deployment of several DENR regional personnel to ask Boracay establishments with environmental violations to explain their side.

The DENR said some establishments in Boracay are not connected to waste treatment facilities, so these are directly releasing untreated discharges into the environment.

"Such establishments must put up respective treatment facilities if unable to connect," DENR Undersecretary Jonas Leones said

Cimatu already met with West Grove Resort owner Cris Aquino about structures the businessman had illegally built atop natural rock formations in Boracay and voluntarily had them torn down.

eones said despite the voluntary demolition, Aquino still has accountability for his environmental violations.

Source: Philippine News Agency