“The Local Government is accountable for the crisis faced by Boracay. They should have enforced environmental laws as well as their own local ordinances,” Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) OIC-Secretary Eduardo M. Año said.
He called on the local government of Malay, Aklan which has jurisdiction over Boracay Island to cooperate with the investigation being conducted by the DILG and DENR after President Duterte’s warning to close Boracay if it is not cleaned up within six months.
“The presence of commercial establishments even beyond the prescribed distance from the coastline would not be possible without building and construction permits issued by the LGU. It is their lookout,” he said.
According to Año, the investigation will look into the possible liability of local government officials who issued building permits, occupancy permits and even business permits despite non-compliance with applicable laws and issuances.
“Why did the LGU allow establishments to be built in areas classified as forest lands? Why did the Barangay issue the necessary clearances? This we intend to find out and soon,” he said.
“We are expediting this and we will go where the evidence brings us,” he said noting that appropriate charges may will be filed.
“Aside from local government officials, concerned stakeholders in this issue like the residents and business owners will be consulted and involved in responding to the problems. A drastic action requires collective effort,” he said.