Cimatu lifts ECC suspension for compliant Boracay businesses

MANILA, Philippines – Ahead of the island's reopening to tourists, Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu lifted the suspension of environmental compliance certificates (ECCs) for all  Boracay establishments that have proven that they fully conform to environmental laws.

Cimatu issued the order to the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) in Western Visayas thorugh Memorandum Circular 2018-14 dated October 5.

This means that they would be able to seek necessary permits to operate from the interior and tourism departments when Boracay reopens on October 26. (READ: What to expect when Boracay reopens on October 26)

"Likewise, the EMB Regional Office 6 shall continue to monitor establishments despite such lifting of suspension of their respective ECCs, and monitor all establishments issued with Certificate of Non-Coverage (CNC) to ensure their compliance with environmental laws and assure that no violation against the same is committed," Cimatu said.

Under Proclamation Decree 1685, which was amended by Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Administrative Order 21 in 1992, projects or businesses need to apply for ECCs to ensure that they would not bring "unacceptable environmental impact."

Smaller businesses that would have no negative effects on the environment are issued CNCs.

Meanwhile, those that were found 90% to 95% compliant were issued Certificates of Conditional Approval (CCA), pending the completion of a sewerage treatment plant installation.

The DENR said it had issued CCAs to 159 businesses in the island.

In July, Cimatu ordered all ECCs to be suspended, so that the DENR would be able to assess compliance.

President Rodrigo Duterte had ordered the 6-month closure of the popular tourist destination, calling it a "cesspool" because of its environmental problems. Boracay had been closed to tourists since April 26.

Before its formal opening, a dry run for local tourists will be held from October 15 to 25. (LOOK: Boracay to open with war zone-like roads?– Rappler.com

Aika Rey

Aika Rey covers the Philippine Senate for Rappler. Before writing about politicians, she covered budget, labor, and transportation issues.

image