Boracay faces closure, Hotel owners appeal

March 4 2018 – Over 200 cases of environmental violations have been filed by the DENR (Department of Natural Resources) against Resort and Hotel owners in the world famous vacation spot of Boracay Island, Philippines.

It was found that about 190 plus establishments were dumping untreated sewage directly into the sea causing massive pollution along the shorelines.  The water treatment facilities in Manoc-Manoc and Balabag were found to have exceeded their capacities promting DENR Secretary Cimatu to order their rehabilitation.

Violations include among others: violation of the Philippine Clean Water Act, violation of the Philippine Clean Air Act and operation of establishments without any environmental compliance certificate.

Over 578 establishments on and near shore were inspected by the DENR with most violations being given to on-shore resorts and establishments.

According to DILG Assistant Secretary Epimaco Densing III, some areas of the island will be closed to tourist as structures would need to be demolished in order to fix the sewage problem.  DILG Secretary Eduardo Ano stated that Boracay cannot be rehabilitated under normal circumstances.  One of the options is to totally close down the island to tourists for 60 days.

Department of Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo proposed the creation of the Boracay Development Authority as a long term solution to the island’s incessant problems and violations of the environmental laws.  The authority to manage Boracay was given to the Local Government Unit in 1991 and this is the result she added. Last Monday, the Department of Tourism (DOT) stopped the processing of new and expiring accreditation certificates of establishments in the island which were not complying with environmental laws.

Senator Cynthia Villar has opposed the total closure of the island and instead told the DENR and LGU to close down the erring and violating establishments.  “Close only those that are violating laws, those operating without ECC’s, those that are not compliant.”

The closure of the island would be a drastic solution to years long problem of pollution, over crowding and environmental problems.  But would have a big effect on the Labor situation in the Region.  Department of Labor Western Visayas Director said that 17,000 workers in Boracay would be affected with a total closure. “The suggested closure will increase the unemployment in the region and will have an impact on related businesses that supply and provide services for the island.  It’s a domino effect.”

President Duterte had issued an order to “SHUT THEM DOWN” to the DENR referring to those that have been violating the environmental laws.  Upon hearing this, some resorts owners voluntarily ceased operations to comply with the DENR.  Crisostom Aquino whose West Cove Resort had been in the media for several years for building structures on natural rock formations was surprised by the speed of the demolition team brought by former AFP General and now DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu who ordered the immediate demolition on site of the violating structures.  Aquino has been using the courts to delay the demolition of the structures since 2014.

West Cove stands on leased government land under a 25 year Forest Land use Agreement for Tourism which was cancelled in September 12, of 2014 for violating the agreement.  West Cove built structures outside of the allowed area and built them on natural formations.

Cimatu warned that if the establishments do not comply with the laws, they will be closed down. “We have to strictly enforce environmental laws in order to protect the country’s tourism sites so that the future generations will be able to enjoy them as well.”

Compliant resorts and hotel owners have appealed against the total closure of the island as it will affect the economy of the Province.

This report has been verified by NewsmePh



Boracay being drowned by tourist garbage!

The once pristine Philippine paradise island of Boracay is now beset by a garbage problem.  “We are smelling garbage and it is not good for the health of the children”- quipped a teacher whose school is located near the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in Barangay Manoc-Manoc.  The source of the foul smell is the mountain of garbage brought to the MRF coming from the hotels and establishments in the islands – basically tourist garbage.

The DENR has stepped in and called the attention of Malay, Aklan Mayor Cicero Cawaling who is primarily responsible for the upkeep of the island.  DENR sources said that the MRF is a potential health risk not only to residents but to the visiting tourists as well.

In response, Mayor Cawaling has promised to empty the MRF and take the excess garbage out by barge to mainland Panay island for processing. The Mayor promised improvements in waste handling by the LGU after a June 22, 2017 visit by Secretary Cimatu.

Cimatu threatened that the Mayor may face charges under RA 9003 if the garbage problem is not addressed by the LGU.  “He may be liable for charges if this is not addressed immediately” added Secretary Cimatu.

Garbage has been a constant problem for Boracay having seen a growth in the establishments and hotels in the island.  Tourists, both local and international, continue to flock to Boracay island despite the hidden problem of waste disposal.

On a similar note, members of the House of Representatives were shocked to see the degradation of the island and has asked the Department of Tourism about its plans to keep Boracay from being destroyed.

This news is verified by NewsmePh



Friday’s Holdings Tax Declaration does not exist – Provincial Assessor


Breaking news by Newsmeph

The Provincial Assessor of Aklan has issued a certification that the Tax Declaration Document numbered 2014-12-003-01-01441 of Fridays’s Holdings Inc./FHI claiming the lot of Mila Sumndad  does not exist.

Documents came to light during the Auction in Quezon City where Friday’s Holdings Inc. presented it to bolster their claim.  Upon checking and verification with the Provincial Assessor of Aklan, a certification was issued by the said office that the said tax declaration does not exist and that the property is lawfully registered under the name of Mila Sumndad.

Competing claims have been made by Panlilio owned Boulevard Holding’s Inc. which owns Friday’s Holdings Inc. which in turn operates Friday’s Boracay Beach Resort.  The resort is located partly on the property of Mila Sumndad.

According to Sumndad, this vindicates me and my claim that the property is truly mine and this cannot be disputed. It is only by the use of money that BHI/FHI is able to sustain their claim to my land.

While the Court in Quezon City stopped the auction proceedings because of the pending cases where BHI and FHI are claiming ownership of the property, Mila Sumndad said that the Court also ordered both parties to show their respective certified documents.  BHI and FHI were unable to present any certified true copy of their documents. In fact it was the Provincial Assessor of Aklan who said that their Tax Declaration is non-existent further bolstering claims and reports of forgery on the part of BHI and FHI said Sumndad.

I have in turn filed a libel case against Jose Marcel Panlilio for insulting the name of my family in the news reports he has released.  It is time that Panlilio pay for the very unfounded public accusations and his made up fairy tales to the Philippine Stock Exchange.

This article is validated and verified by Newsmeph.




QC Court decision temporary says Boracay landowner

Quezon City RTC Presiding Judge Edgardo B. Bellosillo of Branch 95 has stopped the auction of the property of Mila Sumndad.

In his decision, the honorable judge acknowledged the presence of the Court of Appeals ruling and the current case being held in Makati RTC 146 which issued an injunction order pending resolution of the issue of ownership.

“It is undisputed that the property which is the subject of the sheriff’s sale is also the subject of a pending case in Makati City Regional Trial Court where the injunctive order of the Court of Appeals is the subject of a pending petition before the Supreme Court. For this Court to allow the Sheriff’s Sale to proceed as scheduled on March 7, 2016, would render moot and academic whatever outcome of the pending petition in the Supreme Court.”

Mila Sumndad said she was saddened of the decision simply because she is the true owner of the property, but also said that at least the Judge recognized the Court of Appeals order and the current trial being conducted at the Makati RTC 146 which BHI has always denied in its reports.

“Na ignore ng Judge yung certification issued by the Provincial Assessor that the Tax Declaration of Friday’s does not exist, it is Fake, and that it was issued without his knowledge by the Aklan Municipal Assesor. I still hold the only and true tax declaration covering the property being claimed by BHI.”

Sumndad also asserted that at least the QC Court acknowledged the Court of Appeals order whereas the Aklan Courts did not which resulted in my loosing possession of the property. “inamin nga ni Panlilio na nagbabayad siya sa mga lawyers at Pulis in his news reports and PSE disclosures eh!”

Sumndad said she inherited the property from her parents who had entered into a long term 25 year lease with William Lutrell, the Australian who created Friday’s Boracay. The lease ended in February 14, 2014 so we took back what was rightfully ours according to Sumndad.  Panlilio who entered the picture the same year Lutrell was murdered in 1994, did not want to let go of the property so he filed cases against me.- Sumndad added.

Multiple cases have been filed by each party resulting in a protracted media war. “Panlilio initiated all of this in media, sumasagot lang ako dahil unfair naman na side lang niya ang naririnig ng tao. Kami yung aggrieved party being the landowners. Yung ibang news media fair naman pero yung mas marami eh misleading.” Sumndad further added that Panlilio has been including many prominent people in his announcements like Congressman Haresco, Congressman Singson and most recently the owner of AMA Colleges just to make them come out in the news.

The Court said: “All Premises being considered the Court resolves to suspend the scheduled Sheriff’s Sale on Monday, March 7, 2016 in deference to whatever the outcome of the pending petition at the Supreme Court.”

This news has been verified by Newsmeph. See our earlier coverage and links on this issue.


IPO Philippines negates Tides Boracay name & logo

Newmeph Report

Manila – The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines has acted on a protest of Viceroy Hotel Group, owner of world reknowned Miami South Beach Hotel, The Tides against a luxury hotel in Boracay with the same name that opened in 2007.

The IPO ordered the cancellation of the Boracay Hotels trademark application for its name and logo which Viceroy Hotel Group found to be similar to its own patented business trademark.

Viceroy Hotel Group successfully showed that the local hotel infringed on its trademark and could not have invented by coincidence the exact trademark name and design being used by their brand for over 80 years.  VHG additionally implied that the local hotel has been using the name and logo sowing confusion as to its relation with their hotel in Miami.

An IPO official who refused to be identified stated that there was a clear infringement when their attention was called to the matter.  The operators of The Tides Boracay wanted to register the name as a trademark and when we did our reviews found the VHG opposition.

The same official noted that it is up to VHG to file the charges in court, as for the IPO, it has cancelled the application.

The Tides Boracay may have to rebrand and change its name according to an Advertising Executive as it clearly bore the same similarities to the VHG Brand.  “The Tides Boracay and its Ad Agency or Design Group could be held accountable for the Brand infringement as the hotel would then suffer from business losses in a costly rebranding process. If there was no Advertising Agency involved, the owner could be held liable for trademark infringement and be taken to court.”- he added.

He added that as an immediate effect, the hotel would have to change it’s name which in turn affects its website, its marketing & booking activities online and offline, its overall reputation among the customers and the community and its bottom line.  Overall, it is a losing proposition and it is like opening a new hotel and starting from scratch.

Boracay being an international destination has been the constant focus of international hotel operators as a destination for setting up shop. The case may have been a result of VHG taking the initial steps of securing their Brands and Trademarks in the Philippines before actually building.

The Tides Boracay may appeal the findings, but according to the IPO official, VHG has shown its merit through its arguments and any appeal would be an uphill climb.

Viceroy Hotel Group is half owned by the Abu Dhabi Government and owns and operate The Tides hotel in South Beach Miami, Cassa NY Hotel in New York City, Hotel Zeppelin in San Francisco, Viceroy Central Park among others.

As of this reporting, The Tides Boracay could not be contacted at the indicated numbers provided in their website.

This is a validated news item that never made it to the press as an official article.


Bureau of Immigration Agent Shot by German Fugitive in Boracay Island, Aklan


BORACAY ISLAND, Aklan, Philippines – An agent of the Bureau of Immigration has been shot by a German fugitive on Boracay Island.

Rudolf Wilhelm Stolz, a German national, and wanted fugitive, was about to be served a Warrant of Deportation by 4Bureau of Immigration agents when Stolz shot one of the agents.

Stolz is currently listed on INTERPOL’s ‘Red Notice’.

The shooting incident happened at 12:40 p.m. at March 3rd in Sitio Sugod, Barangay Manocmanoc, Boracay Island,Malay, Aklan.

Stolz is said to have resisted arrest, he shot and wounded the BI agent, hitting him in his upper right chest.

The BI agent has not been named in this incident, but has been listed as stable by attending physicians.

(The original news is at Philippine by Timothy Walker)

This news item never made it to the official press with links at:

Bureau of Immigration Agent Shot by German Fugitive in Boracay Island, Aklan

All rights belong to the writer of the news item. Newmeph verifies and shares this news as legitimate.