Philippine island a 'cesspool,' will close for 6 months

by Garry Watts April 6, 2018, 2:02
Philippine island a 'cesspool,' will close for 6 months

Only about 47 per cent of the hundreds of establishments are connected to the island's main sewerage treatment plant, with numerous rest possibly maintaining crude septic tanks and others discharging their waste directly into the sea, Alegre said.

"There will be no income and we have bills to pay so I don't know how I will survive". "That's why it is not to the interest of everybody to go the full 6 months", said Interior Assistant Secretary Epimaco Densing in a Palace press briefing.

The DoT and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said they have not received any application for the building of a $500-million casino by Macau's Galaxy Entertainment and Philippines' Leisure and Resorts World Corporation. "It will be a temporary thing", Leones said.

Since February, Philippine officials have been scrambling to inspect the island and record a catalogue of construction and permit breaches.

"Boracay will be relaunched", Duterte's Spokesperson Harry Roque said.

Parts of the 1,000-hectare island in central Aklan province could re-open earlier than six months if sewage containment and treatment systems could be built earlier and beach resorts comply with environmental regulations, he said.

So far, the authorities have found 948 illegal structures, half of which they aim to destroy during the closure.

"We are a bit depressed right now in the industry", he said.

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Philippines Airlines (PAL) and Cebu Pacific Air will stop carrying Boracay-bound tourists for a six-month period beginning late April because the closure of the island resort.

"Whether foreign or local, they will not be allowed to enter the island".

Passengers of the affected Kalibo and Caticlan flights have the option to rebook, reroute or refund with penalties and charges waived.

The island will be closed starting April 26.

"We fully support the government's intention to make Boracay fully safe and environmentally friendly", said Jaime Bautista, the airline's president. "I really feel for the people in Boracay", he added.

"The impact of Boracay closure on our operation is nearly insignificant compared to its effect on our guests, especially those who have saved up their money to be able travel this summer, which is why our focus is on assisting them and providing them with flexible options so as not to disrupt their holiday plans", Comendador added.

Karl Chusuey, vice president for marketing at Henann Group, which operates one of Boracay's largest resorts, said it was receiving cancellations, which "were as expected".

Ejercito also urged the government to provide alternative livelihood for workers who will be displaced by the Boracay closure. Sustainable development is of critical concern, and we are one with the laudable goal to revert the island to a balanced eco-tourism paradise.

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