- President Rodrigo Duterte called Boracay a cesspool
- The world-famous beach destination has a problem with waste management
- Duterte wants to shut it down to protect the health of visitors
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Will this be the end for the famous white-sand beach of Boracay?
President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened to close down the famous tourist destination in his speech at a business forum in Davao City on February 9.
He said that Boracay is drowning in feces and he told business owners on the island to clean up or else.
"I will close Boracay. Boracay is a cesspool," said Duterte, according to a report by ABS-CBN News.
Duterte added: "You go into the water, it's smelly. Smell of what? Sh**. Because it all comes out in Boracay."
Officials of the Department of Tourism agreed with Duterte's assessment. They affirmed that Boracay has a worsening sewage condition.
"It's a shame that Boracay, which has repeatedly been recognized by prestigious travel magazines as the world's most beautiful island, may yet end up a paradise lost if water contamination continues," said Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo.
ABS-CBN further reports that some business establishments drained their sewage waste directly into the sea.
"There are certain areas there... some establishments have illegally tapped their sewage line into the water line," said Tourism spokesman Ricky Alegre to ABS-CBN.
According to GMA News Online, Duterte has ordered Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu to clean up Boracay in six months.
"I'll give you six months. Clean the goddamn thing," said Duterte to Cimatu.
Boracay draws more than 2 million tourists every year.
The tourism industry there generates P56 billion in annual revenues.
But the rapid growth in population and business activity have caused problems on the sewerage system of the small island.
The DENR crackdown on commercial establishments polluting the water and the island in general started in 2015.
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