Duterte extends Boracay task force term for another year
President Rodrigo Duterte has extended the term of the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force until May next year to complete its task of fully rehabilitating the famous tourist destination located in Malay, Aklan.
Executive Order No. 115, which Duterte signed on May 11, said the Task Force "shall be deemed dissolved on 08 May 2021, unless extended or sooner terminated by the President."
Duterte said there is a need to complete critical projects in Boracay island pursuant to the Boracay Action Plan, such as but not limited to the improvement of the water drainage system, demolition of remaining establishments situated in forest land and wetland areas, enforcement of beach and road easements, as well as the rehabilitation of the Boracay Circumferential Road.
He also said the Task Force has to ensure implementation of carrying capacity regulations and to continue to carry out its mandate under EO No. 53.
Duterte extended the Task Force's term after it expired on May 8, two years after its creation under EO 53.
The Task Force, chaired by the Secretary of Department of Environment and Natural Resources, was formed in 2018 to rehabilitate the famous Boracay island after Duterte likened it to a "cesspool."
The government closed the tourist destination for six months from April 26, 2018 to rehabilitate the island.
According to the latest EO, as of March 31, 33 percent of establishments in Boracay were not yet compliant with the 25-meters plus five meters beach easement, and 27 percent of establishments have not complied with the road easement, required under existing laws.
Despite the demolition of 111 structures on wetland, 227 structures on the beach easement and 896 on the road easement since the inception of the Task Force in 2018, there were still 723 structure built on forestland blocks, 112 on the beach easement, and 334 on the road easement.
Before the termination of the Task Force next year, the EO said it shall publish a final report on its accomplishments aligned with the key thematic areas of the Boracay Action Plan, including plans and programs implemented and the total budget utilized. Celerina Monte/DMS