“I will close Boracay. Boracay is a cesspool…You go into the water, it’s smelly. Smell of what? Sh**. Because it all comes out in Boracay,” is what President Duterte said on a late Friday business forum held in Davao, which was confirmed by an official transcript released by the presidential palace Saturday.
Reports stated that the President gave his brutal assessment on the water contamination and sanitary condition of the island.
Tourism department officials did not deny Duterte’s assessment and affirmed the worsening sewage conditions.
In a statement, Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo said –
“It’s a shame that Boracay, which has repeatedly been recognized by prestigious travel magazines as the world’s most beautiful island, may yet end up a paradise lost if water contamination continues,”
Department spokesman Ricky Alegre also confirmed that some establishments around the island drained their sewage directly into the pristine waters of Boracay.
“There are certain areas there (where) . . . some establishments have illegally tapped their sewage line into the water line,” he said.
According to Alegre, an inspection held by officials, the result showed only 25 establishment out of 150 establishments inspected were connected to the sewage line. He also shared that many of the structures were being built too close to the beach and were even crowding into the roads.
Duterte stressed that Boracay’s condition will eventually be an environmental “disaster” and a “tragedy” that could drive tourists away instead of attracting them. He then ordered Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu to clean up Boracay to protect the health of visitors and residents,
“I’ll give you six months. Clean the goddamn thing,” Duterte told Cimatu.
Or else the famous tourist destination tra attracts over 2 million tourists every year will be closed down.