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Supreme Court orders stop to reclamation in Boracay

by Rey E. Requejo
[ ] June 8, 2011

THE Supreme Court has stopped the Aklan provincial government and other government agencies from undertaking a P1-billion reclamation project covering 40 hectares of coastline of Boracay Island, a popular tourist haven in the country.

Acting on the petition filed by resort and restaurant owners in Boracay, the high court granted the appeal for the issuance of a temporary environment protection order during its en banc session Tuesday.

“This means the respondents are ordered to cease and desist from conducting reclamation activities along the coastline of Boracay and Malay, Aklan,” court spokesman and Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez said in a press conference.

Marquez said the magistrates took note of the arguments of the petitioners in issuing the protection order.

The tribunal also ordered the respondents to comment within 10 days on the petition.

Earlier, the Boracay Foundation Inc., which is composed of at least 60 resort, hotel, and restaurant owners, community organizations, and concerned environmental advocates, asked the high court to suspend the project until a comprehensive environmental impact assessment and public hearings are conducted.

The petitioners impleaded as respondents the province of Aklan represented by Gov. Carlito Marquez, the Philippine Reclamation Authority, and the Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

The petitioners noted that on Dec. 6, 2010, the Aklan provincial government started implementing phase 1 of the reclamation project.

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