Duterte assigns Environment chief to lead Boracay Task Force

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FILE PHOTO. Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 10) — President Rodrigo Duterte has assigned Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu as the chair of the inter-agency task force in charge of rehabilitating Boracay island.

According to Executive Order 53 signed by Duterte on May 8, Interior Acting Secretary and Officer-in-Charge Eduardo Año will be the task force vice chairman.

It added the secretaries of the Departments of Tourism, Justice, Public Works and Highways, Social Welfare and Development, Labor, and Trade and Industry will act as co-vice chair members.

Also in the same position are the Chief Operating Officer of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority, Philippine National Police Chief, Aklan Governor, and Malay Mayor.

The Task Force will function for two years, unless extended by the President upon the recommendation of the Cabinet.

Aside from appointing key positions, the EO also outlined the objectives of the task force, which must "ensure that policies on Boracay Island are consistent with relevant laws, rules, and regulations," and implement such policies.

It also indicated the duties assigned to each department, which are aligned with the functions of the agencies.

A moratorium on the construction of new tourism and other business facilities and enterprises in the island is also imposed.

The EO requires the task force to submit a monthly report that will include the progress made in the rehabilitation of Boracay.

Boracay has been shut down since April 26. The six-month closure will usher in the island's rehabilitation.

The scramble to cleanup the world-famous tourist destination came after President Rodrigo Duterte called it "a cesspool," and threatened to shut it down permanently if its pollution problem went unsolved.