Philippines

Secret marshals vs. Boracay litterbugs urged

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Secret marshals vs. Boracay litterbugs urged
By Catherine Teves

MANILA (Philippines News Agency) — An expert is proposing the deployment of secret marshals to enable the Malay local government unit (LGU), having jurisdiction over Boracay Island, to better address littering once the public resumes flocking to this top tourist destination this week.

“Malay LGU can deploy marshals who will go around those beaches incognito to monitor possible littering there,” said Nolan Francisco, officer-in-charge chief of Environmental Management Bureau’s Solid Waste Management Division, in an interview Monday.

Francisco said the secret marshals should immediately report littering incidents to Boracay and Malay authorities for actions, which may include requiring litterbugs to undertake community service.

He said Malay LGU can make arrangements for their deployment in Boracay Island, adding that this is in line with Republic Act (RA) 9003, the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.

“LGUs nationwide are at the forefront in implementing solid waste management,” he said.

Last week, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) spearheaded the dry run for Boracay Island’s re-opening to the public this Friday.

Photographs of scattered cups and other trash in the beach surfaced after the dry run’s opening.

“Some people might not still be aware about the need to dispose their trash properly,” Francisco said.

RA 9003 stipulates that litterbugs face a fine of PHP300 to PHP1,000, or required to render community service ranging from one to 15 days.

The government closed Boracay Island to the public for six months this year to help fast-track clean up and rehabilitation in a bid to save it from further environmental degradation.

The DENR identified garbage accumulation and water pollution as among the environmental problems facing the island.

The department earlier said the dry run is an opportunity to assess and fix, if necessary, the drainage systems and other rehabilitation measures implemented in Boracay. (PNA)

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