Duterte extends term of Boracay rehab task force until May 2021

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 28 2020 12:24 PM

Tourist favorite Boracay island. Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte has extended the term of the inter-agency task force in charge of the rehabilitation of top tourist destination Boracay island until May 8, 2021, citing the need to complete projects in the area. 

The task force was formed in 2018 and was ordered to “reverse” degradation on the island paradise.

In his latest executive order, Duterte said several establishments in Boracay island have yet to comply with beach and road easement protocols, prompting the extension of the task force's term.

The President said there were still 723 structures built on forestland blocks, 112 on the beach easement, and 334 on the road easement that need to be demolished.

"There is a need to complete critical projects in Boracay island pursuant to the Boracay Action Plan..." Duterte said in Executive Order No. 115 signed on May 11.

Boracay was closed to tourists for half a year in 2018 as the government embarked on a 6-month cleanup and rehabilitation of the island. 

The steady flow of tourists to the island, famous for its powdery white sand, has led to overcrowding and environmental degradation over the years.

This year, Boracay was again closed off to tourists due to the coronavirus pandemic.