MANILA—The rehabilitation of Boracay island is 80 percent complete, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said on Thursday.
The rehabilitation will be completed by December 2020, the DENR added.
Sen. Cynthia Villar, sponsor of the the DENR's proposed budget for 2020, said the remaining work consists mainly of road networks.
The DENR also reported it will complete the demolition of 10 establishments found to have violated the 30-meter exclusion zone from the shoreline over the weekend. Structures, including day beds, tables, chairs, and beach umbrellas, are prohibited within the zone.
Only six remaining establishments need to be demolished, with four already taken down.
“They (DENR team) were stalled by the TRO (temporary restraining order),” Villar said.
No permanent injunctions were issued by the courts, which is why the demolition started when the TROs expired, she explained.
Minority Leader Sen. Franklin Drilon slammed the local government anew for the island paradise’s “abuse” and “devastation,” while commending Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu for his “political will in cleaning up the mess in Boracay.”
“Being from the region, I saw the jewel of a national treasure was devastated over the past several years. And I put the blame only on one: the local government,” Drilon said.
President Rodrigo Duterte shut down the island in October last year, closing more than 440 hotels and many of its 2,600 businesses.
When the 6-month closure ended, Boracay’s carrying capacity has been limited to 19,00 tourists at a given time.