At least 31 more beachfront establishments in Boracay Island will be ordered closed for violating shoreline easement rules, the Department of the Interior and Local Government said Thursday.
DILG Assistant Secretary Epimaco Densing III said the agency has recommended the closure of 31 more establishments after they were found violating the 25+5 meter easement rule.
"As of this morning, nagsimula na pong umikot ang mga lokal na opisyales kasama yung mga taga-DILG as witness, na ipapasara nila lahat ng identified na walang mayor's permit. Closure muna, tapos ang second step po niyan, meron kaming recommendation na 31 establishments, sa harap po ng beach, na lumampas doon sa 25+5 easement rule, so babakbakin din 'yan," Densing told DZMM.
He also said DILG has ordered the local government not to issue any building permits while the clean-up is ongoing.
"No building permits will be issued immediately," Densing said.
When asked about the possibility of shutting down the island, Densing said the local government and other agencies are already considering it.
"Mukhang agree na sila. Ipinaliwanag ko ang benepisyo ng pagdedeklara ng state of calamity. Wala lang ho silang magagawa sa term na calamity kasi 'yun ho ang nasa batas... Agree na ho sila, mukhang nakumbinsi ko ho. In fact, sa lokal na gobyerno, maaari silang magpasa, on their own, na ideklara ang munisipyo ng Malay under a state of calamity," he explained.
If Boracay is shut down, tourists will not be allowed on the island. Hotels and resorts, however, will still be allowed to operate.
"Kapag sinabi nating ipapasara, hindi pahihintulutang pumasok ang turista. Hindi naman ipapasara 'yung establisimyento. So since walang guest, baka hindi rin mag-operate 'yung resorts doon at hotels," he said.
"Pag-aaralan namin yung mechanics. If ever magdeclare kami ng closure any time soon, may 30 days notice naman po," Densing added.
On Wednesday, the local government of Malay town, Aklan ordered the closure of the West Cove Hotel in Boracay for operating without business and other permits.
The President recently described Boracay, famous for its long, wide beach and powder-like sand, as a “cesspool” due to the island’s dysfunctional sewerage system.
Several beachfront establishments have also been accused of violating easement rules.
Several government officials have recommended the temporary closure of Boracay to tourists to make way for its rehabilitation.