Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu wants the rehabilitation of Puerto Galera to follow the footsteps of Antique’s Boracay Island and Manila Bay to protect and preserve the country’s prime tourist destinations.
He recently visited Oriental Mindoro’s Puerto Galera and ordered the Department of Environment and Natural Resources MIMAROPA executive director Henry Adornado to put up a DENR office in the area to ensure that the famous tourist destination is properly managed.
He also instructed Adornado to facilitate the transfer of the regional office from Roxas Boulevard in Manila to Calapan City in Oriental Mindoro pursuant to the provisions of Republic Act 10879 that makes the city the regional center for Marinduque, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Palawan and Romblon.
“It will never be easy. But I can already see the strengthened collaboration between the DENR regional task force and the local government unit in saving Puerto Galera,” he said.
“I commend and thank you for your sacrifices but please be reminded that we are protecting Puerto Galera not only for ourselves, but more importantly for the generations to come,” he added.
In February 2018, Task Force Puerto Galera was created to spearhead the cleanup of the island and ensure strict implementation of environmental laws including Republic Act 9275 or the Clean Water Act of 2004, and Presidential Decree No. 705 or the Revised Forestry Code of the Philippines.
“What we did and are doing in Boracay and Manila Bay, we will replicate in Puerto Galera,” the DENR chief said.