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Why just now?

/ 05:10 AM February 16, 2018

I am deeply saddened by your Feb. 14 headline on the closure of 51, I vehemently repeat, 51 polluters (“DENR to close 51 Boracay polluters”).

Why just now? If it wasn’t President Duterte himself who declared the “gross neglect of duty” of local executives, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources would not have taken action on implementing the closure.

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What a wasteful action. Isn’t there a regular inspection of these establishments by the local government and the DENR for the issuance of business permits? Aren’t these agencies supposed to protect and preserve the pristine beauty of Boracay? How sad that after all these years, Boracay has now become a trampled tourist destination. Aren’t local officials fully aware of the disadvantages that tourism may cause the environment most particularly on the natural habitat of this small island?

With this closure, there would likely be negotiations, with the affected business establishments giving promises like the compliance with policies on environment protection. If so, there should be transparency in these negotiations. The Department of Tourism must be included in the deliberations to remove any doubt of anomalous transactions. I therefore call for integrity on the part of the DENR and the concerned local government units in performing their responsibilities for the sustainability of this world-renowned tourist destination.

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JOSE M. BRIONES, former provincial tourism officer of Albay, former PIO for Luzon of the Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines, [email protected]

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TAGS: 51 polluters, Boracay polluters, closure, DENR
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