DENR seeks extension of Boracay task force for another year

THE Environment department has asked President Rodrigo R. Duterte to extend the term of the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF) for one more year.

In a press release on Friday, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources said the BIATF submitted a signed resolution to the President asking for the extension.

Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu, who chairs the BIATF, said the term extension will “allow the task force to complete all its projects which were stalled due to the global health emergency.”

The BIATF was created on May 8, 2018, under Executive Order (EO) No. 53 to lead the rehabilitation of the popular tourist island that Mr. Duterte described to have turned into a “cesspool.” Boracay was closed to tourists for six months.

The term of the task force was originally set to end in 2020, but Mr. Duterte issued another order extending it to May 8, 2021.

“We have accomplished much since this body was created by our President… with the mission of ensuring the rehabilitation and ecological sustainability of Boracay Island after its degeneration into a cesspool as a result of a few decades of runaway and haphazard development,” Mr. Cimatu said.

The BIATF is currently co-chaired by the Department of Tourism and the Department of Interior and Local Government, with local officials and other stakeholders as members. — Angelica Y. Yang

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