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Duterte forms Boracay inter-agency task force
Duterte signed Executive Order 53 aimed at enhancing further the mechanisms of the coordinating body, composed of officials from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Tourism, Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Trade and Industry and the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA).
Walter Bollozo

Duterte forms Boracay inter-agency task force

Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) - May 11, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte has formed an inter-agency task force on Boracay that will lead the formulation of policy and oversee implementation of laws and local ordinances on the island.

Duterte signed Executive Order 53 aimed at enhancing further the mechanisms of the coordinating body, composed of officials from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Tourism, Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Trade and Industry and the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA).

The governor of Aklan and the mayor of Malay are also part of the task force.

“The issues surrounding the development of Boracay Island are no longer purely a local matter but a national concern that needs concerted national and local cooperation and synchronization of plans and programs,” the presidential order read.

Under the EO, Duterte also cited Regalian Doctrine to reiterate that Boracay is state-owned, except for lands already covered by existing titles. 

The task force will supervise the operations and rehabilitation efforts in Boracay, a world-famous beach destination in the Philippines which contributes immensely to the socio-economic growth of the country. It is a vital national asset and source of national pride.

In accordance with the approved action plan, the task force will evaluate any proposed project in the island and recommend the same to the task force for approval and issuance of licenses and permits by the appropriate agency.

It will review and consolidate existing master plans and formulate an action plan toward sustainable tourism development of the island.

The Boracay action plan will be a comprehensive medium-term master plan to rehabilitate, protect and preserve the biodiversity of the island.

Under the EO, the task force chair will designate a head of secretariat among the high-ranking officials of the DENR. 

The secretariat head will report to the task force through the DENR secretary. The Office of the President expects a monthly report from the task force, submitted through the Office of the Executive Secretary.

The DOJ will provide legal support to the task force, through its provincial prosecutors office in Aklan, among others, while the DILG will supervise compliance of local government units with the mandate of the task force, ensure regulation of tourism businesses and enforcement of critical environment laws.

These government agencies, spearheaded by the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), are conducting a post-disaster needs assessment for the much needed funding for the comprehensive rehabilitation and recovery plan of the island resort in Aklan.

CebuPac stops Caticlan flights

Cebu Pacific will suspend all flights to and from Caticlan in Aklan amid sluggish demand due to Boracay's closure.

The suspension will take effect from May 17 to Oct. 27.

Prior to the Boracay closure, the airline maintained daily flights between Manila and Caticlan as well as Cebu and Caticlan.

Full commercial service in Caticlan will resume as soon as Boracay reopens in late October.

Passengers with prior bookings may opt to get a full refund, place the full value of the ticket in a travel fund for future use or rebook or reroute the flight within 30 days without penalties, subject to flight and seat availability. – With Jaime Laude, Louella Desiderio, Rhodina Villanueva

Related video:

BORACAY DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES
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