The Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF) – led by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) – has culminated the rehabilitation and management of Boracay Island four years after the massive rehabilitation of the famous tourist destination.

“This culmination means the responsibility will now be with the local government of Malay. Alagaan niyo ito, tulad ng pag-aalaga namin,” DENR Acting Secretary and BIATF chair Jim O. Sampulna said during the culminating activity on June 16.

“The challenge here is how you can maintain Boracay’s cleanliness and sanitation, including the discipline of the people,” Sampulna told the local officials led by Aklan Gov. Florencio Miraflores and Malay Mayor Frolibar Bautista.

The BIATF, vice-chaired by the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), was created by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte through Executive Order (EO) 53 on May 8, 2018.

Its term was supposed to end in 2020, two years after its creation, but President Duterte extended its tenure until May 8, 2021, with the issuance of EO 115 on May 11, 2020.

On Sept. 14, 2021, the BIATF’s term was extended again until June 30, 2022, through EO 148, to give it more time to complete all its projects.

Sampulna assured the local officials that although the BIATF would no longer be at the frontline, the task force would continue to assist them to sustain the gains of the Boracay rehabilitation.

“Huwag po kayong mag-alala, we will be there to assist you. Tutulungan namin kayong patuloy na i-nurture ang Boracay,” Sampulna said.

He pointed out that the DENR, through its Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), plans to establish a real-time monitoring system on the four-kilometer white beach of Boracay to make sure that the cleanliness of the island’s waters will be maintained.

It will be modelled after the Environmental Quality Data Center at the EMB executive building in Quezon City that was launched last month.

The data center provides real-time monitoring of air and water quality, including the status of solid and hazardous waste management, facilities with environmental compliance certificates or ECCs, and online permitting system. ###