Environment Secretary Jim Sapulna on Wednesday ordered the creation of a new team to conduct study on the coastal waters of Boracay Island’s recurring algal bloom.
“I am still forming a team. I want the study conducted by the University of the Philippines’ Marine Science Institute (UP-MSI) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. We will work together to make the report credible,” he said.
He justified that he wants another study with the help of UP-MSI to better understand the recurrence of algal blooms in Boracay’s waters despite lower coliform levels brought about by the ongoing rehabilitation of the island.
He assured that the water in Boracay is very clean, saying he is focused on the completion of the rehabilitation of Boracay Island before his term ends in June.
UP-MSI is one of DENR’s long-time partners in conducting research to protect the country’s marine ecology and biodiversity.
In 2017, the DENR conducted its study of Boracay Island in before the island’s rehabilitation in 2018.
Research by the DENR-Region 6 (Western Visayas), where Sapulna served as regional executive director, found that untreated wastewater was causing algal blooms in Boracay.
Soaps and detergents being flushed out to the sea have also been named as suspects behind the recurrence of green algae in the country’s top tourist destination.
As of February, the coliform level in Boracay’s front beach was measured at 11 most probable number per 100 milliliters (mpn/100mL).
He said that only showed that the island’s waters meet the water quality standard suitable for swimming, skin diving and other recreational activities.
The Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force and Boracay Inter-Agency Rehabilitation and Management Group are continuously monitoring the water quality in Boracay, and are strictly enforcing environmental laws to protect the world-class island resort.