Malay, Aklan LGU closes Boracay West Cove

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 14) — Town officials in Malay, Aklan locked down Boracay West Cove on Wednesday morning for failing to secure the necessary permits.

Malay Mayor Ceciron Cawaling ordered the closure of the resort.

Rowen Aguirre, Executive Assistant to the mayor, said they just implemented an old closure order issued in 2011.

The resort had been operating since 2009 without locational clearance, building permit, occupancy permit, sanitary permit, fire safety permit and business permit.

Former Mayor John Yap issued Executive Order No. 10 on June 7, 2011 ordering the closure and demolition of Boracay West Cove resort hotel for failure to secure the required permits.

Two separate petitions questioning the order were brought by management to the Court of Appeals but were dismissed on August 13,2013 and February 3, 2014.

A review was sought by West Cove before the Supreme Court which affirmed the decision of the appellate court on September 29, 2014.

West Cove was already operating when it applied for zoning clearance in 2010 but was denied by the Municipal Zoning Administrator on the grounds that the site of the resort was within the "no build zone" identified by a Municipal Ordinance (Ordinance 2000-131).

West Cove's lawyer Dan Roxas said the management will challenge the closure of the establishment before the regional court.

Aside from filing a petition for certiorari, it will also ask the court to issue a Temporary Restraining Order to lift the closure order and a preliminary injunction against the local government.

Town officials led by the mayor's executive assistant Rowen Aguirre served the order at 10 a.m. today with the assistance from personnel of the Philippine National Police, Department of Interior Local Government, Philippine Coast Guard, and the Bureau of Fire Protection.

Two weeks ago, West Cove was forced to demolish its viewing deck on top of rock formations after the Environment Department (DENR) served a notice of violation.

West Cove repeatedly said it has a lease agreement with DENR, the Foreshore Lease Agreement for Tourism purposes (FLAG-T). But DENR later cancelled the agreement. West Cove appealed the case before the Office of the President.

The appeal is still pending in Malacanang.

The government is eyeing a shutdown in the island to speed up its rehabilitation after President Rodrigo Duterte called it a "cesspool."

READ: DOT eyes Boracay shutdown between June and September