October 20, 2009
Kalibo - Aklan Gov. Carlito Marquez has asked the Environment and Natural Resources Department to recall the environmental clearance certificate issued to the developer of Caticlan airport for violating several provisions of the permit.
The Boracay Foundation Inc. also supported the move of the Aklan provincial government to limit the development of the airport for domestic operations only and not as an international airfield.
According to Marquez, the Caticlan International Airport Development Corp. will level the Caticlan hill for the upgrading of the airport.
Marquez said the ECC issued in 2006 by then Environment Secretary Angelo Reyes was recycled and became the basis for the National Economic and Development Authority to approve the plan to upgrade the airport.
The Caticlan developer did not comply with the three major components of the July 2006- issued ECC, which include proper consultation with provincial officials, to form a multi-partite monitor team and the social responsibilities with stakeholders.
Director Edwin Trompeta, regional head of the Tourism Department, insisted that their priority is to chop off a portion of the hill so that the entire length of the runway can be fully used by airplanes landing and taking off in Caticlan.
But a study conducted by Dr. Ric Javelosa, a morphologist of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, warned that leveling the hill will make the beaches of Boracay disappear.
Javelosa explained that people in the environmental community consider the hill in Caticlan to be the main driver and generator that allows the gentle monsoon breezes to create such fine and polished sand that Boracay is known for.
The governor also urged the Environment Department to find out how the Neda approved the controversial project when the Reyes-issued ECC did not mention anything about leveling the hill at the end of the existing runway.