The businesses on Boracay are still confused over the government’s guidelines on what and what not to do as the world-famous beach resort reopens to the public.
Elena Brugger, president of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry-Boracay, says many establishments are still unaware of the status of their applications for a permit.
“The business sector is asking for a copy [of compliant businesses],” Brugger said on Oct. 16.
“We in the business sector have the right to know. The business community is confused because there are a lot of things that need to be clarified
Brugger made her statement even as Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu on Wednesday urged all stakeholders in Boracay not to be complacent even if the island was no longer a cesspool.
He said much had been achieved, “but [a lot] more needs to be done to [completely] rehabilitate Boracay.”
While the resort island was “no longer a cesspool,” he said, there was no reason for the government and other stakeholders to be complacent. This is not the time for us to relax and lower our guard.”
Boracay was partially opened to local tourists on Oct. 15. it is set to be opened to the public again on Oct. 26, six months after it was closed down due to environmental problems.
Brugger said the bulk of the business applications to reopen were still on the Environment department’s desk because they had to review those businesses’ compliance with five laws.
“The DENR has lifted the suspension of the ECC [Environmental Compliance Certificate], but it’s still not clear. There are still some businesses waiting for their certificate of compliance,” she said.
“We want transparency because we have wanted to work together and cooperate since Day 1. They should have told us from the very start the guidelines because others are still unsure.”