Philippine President places Boracay resort island under state of calamity

Updated 2018-04-27 14:39:06 Xinhua

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday signed a proclamation declaring a state of calamity in three villages in Boracay resort island in the central Philippines, paving the way for the clean up in the next six months.

However, the proclamation did not mention the legal bases for shutting down the world-class island resort.

The signing of a state of calamity will allow the release of funds to finance the environmental rehabilitation of the island.

In the proclamation, Duterte cited "the high concentration of feral coliform" in the beaches due to "insufficient sewer lines and illegal discharge of untreated water into the beach."

He also said many commercial establishments and residences on the island have no proper sewer system and violated environmental laws.

Duterte said dirty water results in the degradation of the coral reefs and coral cover of Boracay island.

"Only four out of nine wetlands in Boracay Island remain due to illegal encroachment of structures," the proclamation read.

Philippine authorities temporarily closed the island starting Thursday as the island undergoes environmental rehabilitation for the next six months.

During the clean up, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said no foreign or local tourists will be allowed to enter the island.

The department said only residents, workers and resort owners with proper identification cards and terminal passes will be allowed access to the island.

Duterte ordered on April 4 the temporary closure of the world-class resort island in central Philippines for six months to rehabilitate the island.

The president has ordered a crackdown on erring establishments after learning that many of the establishments there have no proper sewerage system and emptying their waste directly into the sea.

Since Duterte gave the order, the government started dismantling illegal structures erected in forest lands and on the beach.

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