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Siargao, Boracay, Palawan top list of Asia’s best islands

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, October 11th, 2018

Boracay sunset via UNTV Drone

 

 

Three islands in the Philippines not only made it to the list of best places in Asia but also dominated the top three spots according to the 2018 Reader’s Choice Award of international travel magazine Condé Nast Traveler.

Leading the pack is Siargao, often dubbed as the “Surfing Capital of the Philippines” due its towering waves.

In 2017, Conde Nast Traveler ranked Siargao Island’s Cloud Nine as the fifth best-surfing spot in the world for its thick hollow tube waves.

Meanwhile, despite being shut down for a much-needed rehabilitation, Boracay still ranked second for its world-famous powdery white sand and shallow blue water ideal for a leisurely swim or snorkel.

Claiming third spot is Palawan, home to the world’s longest underground river which was voted as one of the new 7 wonders of the world.

The Department of Tourism is delighted with the latest recognition given to the country’s top destinations.

“It is an honor for our destinations to be voted once again in the Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards. This serves as an invitation to the tourists in time for the winter vacation,” said Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat in a statement. — Chato Alonsagay | UNTV News & Rescue

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DAR vows to distribute 8 hectares of Boracay agri land to Ati tribe

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, October 17th, 2018

 

Boracay Island

Instead of running for the upcoming elections, Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary John Castriciones has decided to continue his duty in the department.

Earlier reports said the Secretary was going to run under the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas that advocates federalism.

However, Castriciones confirmed that he will focus instead on serving farmer-beneficiaries by implementing government’s land distribution program.

“The president has given me a directive that we will aggressively distribute all these lands to our farmer beneficiaries,” said the agrarian reform secretary.

Castriciones said that there are currently 561,000 hectares of land and 260,000 “government-owned lands” that are up for distribution by DAR.

He also assured to carry out President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to distribute among farmer-beneficiaries the agricultural lands in Boracay Island.

“I will see to it, with the blessings of the president that his directive about the lands in Boracay to be distributed shall be finally implemented,” said Castriciones.

Currently, there are 7.9 hectares of land in Brgy. Manoc-Manoc in Boracay that can be distributed to the island’s indigenous Ati tribe.

The government targets to place about 25 hectares of land in Boracay under land reform as part of the island’s clean-up drive. — Yssa Jalmasco ( with reports from Charlie Barredo)

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Non-compliant hotels, resorts in Boracay warned against accepting online bookings

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Wednesday, October 17th, 2018

Aerial shot of Boracay after its six-month rehabilitation

BORACAY ISLAND, Philippines — Hotels and resorts in Boracay that have not passed the set environmental standards to operate should not accept booking reservations.

According to Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, these establishments should stop promoting online until they complete the requirements mandated by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Tourism (DOT).

Puyat warned that these establishments may face charges for doing so.

“The actions of these non-compliant establishments in soliciting and or accepting booking reservations may be considered deceptive and may subject them to civil liability and suits,” said Romulo-Puyat.

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año added that establishments should be 100 percent compliant before they will be allowed to operate.

This is to avoid any confusion that may cause negative impact on tourists planning to visit Boracay.

Some hotels are also having difficulty in getting new environmental compliance certificate (ECC) for not having a proper waste disposal.

Aside from that, the easement rule is also not followed by establishments along the white beach and even beside the road.

Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu reiterated,”The rule is very clear, non-compliant no operation. Ganun lang ka simple. And it should be 100 percent compliant hindi 95 percent [or] 90 percent.”

When asked what will happen to non-compliant establishments that insist on operating, Cimatu said, ” We will padlock it.”

Meanwhile, a hotel in Boracay was found to have a falsified DENR permit.

According to Cimatu, they were able to identify the culprit as an employee of the owner of the hotel.

A law suit will be filed by the DENR against the individual who falsified the document

“Falsification of documents against the person gumawa ng ganun. Pag inincrimate niya yung boss niya, bahala sila,” Cimatu said.

The Boracay Interagency Task Force required the establishments in Boracay to be compliant with the standards of DENR, the DILG and the DOT for them to finally be able to operate on the island.

Puyat added that they will continue accepting applications for compliance even after the soft opening on October 26. – Vincent Arboleda

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Boracay rebuilds drainage system with latest technology

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, August 2nd, 2018

High density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic pipes line the beach of Boracay ready to be installed.

 

BORACAY, Philippines — The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is using German technology in building the new drainage system of Boracay Island.

Six-meter long high density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic pipes with a width of 1.2 meters will replace one-meter long reinforced concrete pipes that the DPWH traditionally use.

“Ang lifespan niya hundred years… In terms of sa size, doble po ang laki ng pipes na gagamitin namin sa project,” DPWH Secretary Mark Villar said.

(It has a lifespan of 1oo years. The pipes that we are going to use for the project are twice the size of what was originally used.)

 

High density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic pipes will replace the reinforced concrete pipes that were originally used in Boracay’s drainage system.

 

DPWH is planning to use 800 HDPE pipes for phase 1 of the project. Boracay is among the first to be installed with the said German technology.

Villar is confident that the storm drains they are building will be able to solve the flooding problems on the island especially during rainy season.

“Mabilis po ang installation at siyempre yung quality. Napakahalaga na itong.. yung quality ng pipes ay dapat pangmatagalan,” he said.

(Installation is quick and quality is considered. It is very important that the quality of the pipes is designed for long term use.)

Among the qualities of high density polyethylene is its capacity to contain man-made chemicals and solid waste to prevent leakage and contamination.

“Dati kasi kulang na kulang yung capacity sa drainage sa sewerage kaya ngayon po inanticipate namin yung demand. So ngayon pa lang malaki na para hindi tayo mahihirapan,” Villar explained.

(In the past, the drainage capacity in the sewerage was so insufficient. This time we anticipated the demand and increased the size to avoid future problems.)

The 5-kilometer drainage project has a total cost of P540-million.

The DPWH is targeting to complete installation by October for the reopening of the country’s top destination. — Vincent Arboleda  | UNTV News & Rescue

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