DENR to strictly enforce sewerage connection in Boracay

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said it will force the local government of Malay, Aklan to strictly enforce local legislation requiring residents and businesses in Boracay Island to be connected to the sewerage system.

“The local government of Malay has enacted Ordinance 307 in 2012, which mandates businesses and residents to connect to the sewerage system of Boracay. The law is there. What we want to see is for it to be strictly enforced,” DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said.

The ordinance requires residents and businesses within 61 meters from sewerage pipes to connect to the sewerage system. Those which are located farther from the lines, or for other reasons cannot connect to the system, are required to build and maintain sewerage treatment plants and septic tanks.

Despite the ordinance, Boracay has been hounded with the issue of untreated waste water being dumped into the drainage system of the island, instead of the sewerage system. This untreated waste water, which contains harmful bacteria and other substances, eventually reaches the open waters in and around Boracay.

“Boracay’s sewage is the number one problem in the island, and it requires urgent action from us. We are giving companies not connected to the sewer lines one month to link up. If they fail to do so, they will face sanctions,” Cimatu said.

According to Boracay Island Water Corp., one of the two water concessionaires in Boracay and the operator of the island’s sewerage infrastructure, 195 of its 578 business customers are not connected to the sewer lines. Meanwhile, only 5 percent of their 4,331 residential customers are connected to the sewers.

Customers of the other water provider, Boracay Tubi System Inc., are not connected to the sewer lines, but the company offers to siphon waste water from them into the company’s sewerage treatment plant.

“Companies release a huge volume of waste water, so it is important for us to crack down on them. And we do not know if these 195 establishments are causing problems with the island’s drainage system,” Cimatu said.

“For residents, we will help them connect to the sewers if possible, or provide alternatives for them in cooperation with the water concessionaires,” Cimatu said. #####