MANILA – Citing the need to complete the critical projects in Boracay Island, President Rodrigo Duterte has extended the term of the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) until May 8, 2021.
Under Executive Order (EO) he signed on May 11, Duterte said despite the creation of the task force in 2018, several establishments in Boracay Island, a world-famous beach destination in the country, have yet to comply with the beach and road easement protocols.
“Upon further validation made by the Task Force last 31 March 2020, 33 percent of establishments in the Boracay Island are not yet compliant with the 25 meters plus five meters beach easement, and 27 percent of establishments have not complied with the road easement,” Duterte said in his EO.
Duterte noted that there are still 723 structures built on forestland blocks, 112 establishments on the beach easement, and 334 facilities on the road easement that need to be demolished.
Duterte saw the need to extend the Boracay IATF’s term until May 8, 2021, “unless extended or sooner terminated by the President.”
“There is a need to complete critical projects in Boracay Island, pursuant to the Boracay Action Plan,” the EO read.
Duterte on May 8, 2018 created the Boracay IATF through EO 53 to strictly implement the laws and local ordinances to ensure the rehabilitation and ecological sustainability of Boracay Island.
Boracay was closed to tourists from April to September 2018 to pave the way for a massive rehabilitation of the island, which has long been plagued with environmental problems.
The Boracay IATF, whose term was supposed to end two years after its creation, has been tasked to ensure that policies on the island are consistent with relevant laws, rules, and regulations.
It has also been mandated to fully implement, in coordination with relevant government agencies and local government units, the policies, laws, rules and regulations, including the Boracay Action Plan.
The Boracay Action Plan provides for synchronized and strategic national and local interventions to ensure the island’s rehabilitation over the medium term and sustainable management over the long term.
The action plan intends to make Boracay a “globally-competitive and world-class tourism destination with a vibrant, productive, inclusive and climate-resilient economy.”
Duterte’s latest EO, which was released by the Palace just on Thursday, takes effect immediately.
On Tuesday, Malacañang said Boracay may shift to a modified general community quarantine (MGCQ), considering the low cases of coronavirus disease 2019 in the island.
Under MGCQ, tourist destinations are allowed to operate for up to 50 percent of its full capacity. (PNA)