In response to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s directive to promote ease of doing business with government offices, the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF) has streamlined the process of securing necessary permits for commercial establishments in Boracay through a one-stop shop.

The one-stop shop is manned by personnel from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Department of Tourism (DOT), and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

BIATF chair DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said the one-stop shop will assist business owners in complying with the requirements needed for them to operate when Boracay reopens on October 26.

Cimatu reminded business owners to secure the necessary permits, licenses and certifications, otherwise they will remain closed once the resort island reopens at the end of the six-month rehabilitation period.

“The reopening of Boracay does not mean that all establishments will also reopen. They will have to first secure the necessary permits and comply with existing conditions or requirements,” Cimatu said during the third meeting of the BIATF last week.

The BIATF was created by President Rodrigo Duterte to carry out rehabilitation works in Boracay, which he earlier described as a “cesspool” due to environmental problems plaguing the island known worldwide for its white sand beaches.

Cimatu said the DENR had already set up its own one-stop shop in its base operations at Station 3 of Boracay’s White Beach.

The agency provides services such as verification of the status or classification of the land occupied by an establishment and its compliance with easement rules.

The DENR’s Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) has also assigned its personnel to help evaluate compliance with environmental laws, particularly on clean water, clean air, solid waste management, and toxic substances and hazardous waste control.

The EMB is currently conducting on-site visits to all business establishments on the island to check on their compliance with various regulations issued by the DENR, including the setting up of sewerage treatment plants for hotels and resorts with more than five rooms.

The DENR’s one-stop shop also allows business owners to verify whether their establishments require an environmental compliance certificate or ECC, or simply a certificate of non-coverage for establishments with five rooms and below.

Aside from the DENR, establishments also need clearance from the DILG or the local government unit regarding their business and sanitation permits.

Once clearances are obtained from both the DENR and DILG, business owners could then seek accreditation from the DOT, subject to the agency’s own requirements or conditions. ###