DENR chief warns Boracay establishments not connected to sewer lines

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A beachfront resort is seen in this file photo taken in Boracay in 2005. — Photo by Norman P. Aquino

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) called for the local government unit in Aklan to strictly enforce the legislation that requires both households and establishments to connect to a sewerage system.

In a statement released on Monday, March 12, Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said that the LGU of Malay, Aklan had already enacted the ordinance since 2012 but it has not been strictly enforced.

“Boracay’s sewage is the number one problem in the island, and it requires urgent action from us. We are giving companies not connected to the sewer lines one month to link up. If they fail to do so, they will face sanctions,” he added.

The Ordinance 307 states that establishments and households that are within the 61-meter proximity of a sewerage system are required to connect their pipes into the facility.

Those that are farther from the facility are mandated to have their own waste water treatment plants as well as septic tanks.

Boracay Island Water Corp., one of the island’s water concessionaires and the operator of the sewage facilities, in earlier reports said that only 195 of 578 establishments are not connected to its sewer lines while only 5% of 4,331 residents are connected to their waste water treatment facilities.

“Companies release a huge volume of waste water, so it is important for us to crack down on them. And we do not know if these 195 establishments are causing problems with the island’s drainage system,” Mr. Cimatu said.

“For residents, we will help them connect to the sewers if possible, or provide alternatives for them in cooperation with the water concessionaires.”

The other water concessionaire, Boracay Tubi System Inc., only offers to siphon waste water instead of directly connecting their customers to its own treatment plant. — Anna Gabriela A. Mogato