MANILA, February 26, 2018 – President Rodrigo R. Duterte will be waiting for the recommendation of Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu to address Boracay’s environmental woes, Malacanang said Monday.
In a Palace briefing, Roque said Cimatu was given 60 days to “come up with the recommendations on what to do with Boracay”.
Duterte has threatened to close down Boracay, the country’s top beach destination, if environmental problems there would remain unsolved.
He has given Cimatu only six months to solve environmental problems in the country’s top beach destination.
“He (Duterte) said it, he was emphatic although he will wait for the recommendations of Secretary Roy Cimatu,” Roque said.
“All the recommendations are coming before expiration of the period given to the DENR secretary to make his recommendations,” he added.
Roque reminded local government unit (LGU) officials of the President’s warning that they could incur criminal liability for malfeasance and misfeasance for their failure to protect the natural environment in Boracay.
He also stressed that LGUs had the obligation to safeguard the environment.
“The directive of the President is to remind the local government units that it was their obligation to safeguard the environment,” Roque said.
Bohol won’t be like Boracay
Meanwhile, Roque said Bohol governor Edgar Chatto has assured Malacanang that their LGUs will always be on guard in protecting the environment.
Roque made this remark as Malacanang welcomed the near completion of Bohol’s new Panglao International Airport on June 2018.
“Governor Edgar Chatto assured me that unlike the case of Boracay, LGUs of Bohol are always on guard in implementing environment rules and regulations,” Roque said.
Roque said Chatto also tapped national agencies including DENR to coordinate with LGUs so they know what needs to be implemented.
“Governor Chatto yesterday when I was in Bohol, agreed with that, except that he voiced the need for closer coordination between the national agencies such as the DENR and local government units because they need to know what it is that the local government units should be enforcing,” Roque said.
The new airport, designed to be the first eco-airport and green gateway is expected to start commercial operations by August 2018. (PNA)