A day after the reopening of Boracay, environment chiefs have shared pictures of trash dumped on the supposedly “pristine” white-sand beach.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) today (Saturday, October 27) tweeted a photo showing plastic bottles found stuffed into a crevice of the rock formation at the island’s Station 1.
The caption on the photo showing plastic bottles and containers read: “LOOK: A day after the #BoracayReopening, we retrieved this trash in one crevice alone of the rock formation in Station 1 of Boracay. Is this #responsibletourism?
“Let’s all work together to keep Boracay clean and pristine! PLEASE RETWEET. #BetterBoracay”.
The trash discovered today was dumped despite extra bins being deployed to the island following its “soft opening” to local tourists on October 15.
On that occasion too, litter was spotted within hours of the first visitors stepping onto the island.
In response, DNR Secretary Roy Cimatu announced that more bins would be installed along the island’s beachfront.
He said: “I’ve directed the environmental patrol assigned to the area to put trash can in that area. Trash bins recently donated will be issued to establishments to be placed in the white beach under the coconut trees.”
It was also announced that existing anti-litter ordinances would be more strictly enforced. Under the Malay local government’s ‘Municipal Ordinance Number 311, series of 2012’ dropping trash can be punished by up to six months in prison.
Local business leaders have also suggested setting up a team of ‘Boracay Marshalls’ with powers of citizen’s arrest to patrol the island.
Boracay Island was closed to tourists in April after President Duterte described it as a “cesspool”.
Six months of “environmental rehabilitation” have followed, tackling both pollution and unauthorised development.
Its opening yesterday came with a strict cap on visitor numbers, a pre-entry registration system, a limited number of accredited hotels, continuing roadworks and a slate of new rules and regulations.
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