MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said the clean-up of Boracay Island was "just the beginning,” as he vowed a continued rehabilitation of tourist spots while going after violators of environmental laws.
“There are those who violate environmental rules, I am giving due notice,” he said during his 4th State of the Nation Address at the House of Representatives.
“To the LGUs and other stakeholders of tourist destinations, to take extra steps in the enforcement of our laws and the protection of our environment,” he added.
Duterte boasted that Boracay “has been restored to its original pristine state,” and urged tourists to visit the island paradise.
“And the girls there, the foreigners are waiting for you gentlemen to visit the place. They are all on the beach sunbathing,” Duterte added.
He said he also had the agricultural land in the island distributed to the Aeta tribe, hitting critics who claimed Duterte did this to also answer those who claim that he rehabilitated Boracay for his rich friends.
“I don’t have rich friends. I don’t like having rich friends,” he said in Filipino, explaining that they tend to request all sorts of things from the government.
The President also warned businesses that continue to release waste water and trash into Manila Bay.
“Though we have a long way to go, we are encouraged by the test results of the water near Padre Faura. We will relocate informal settlers…and shut down establishments that continue to pollute and poison our waters,” Duterte said.
“I am going to dismantle your building or just simply burn it down,” he said of those who will be caught polluting Manila’s waterways.